Duda's win will help ruling party continue radical reforms - Politico

Radek Pietruszka/PAP

Andrzej Duda's success in the presidential election is a victory for the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party which now has a clear path to continue its radical programme of restructuring Poland, Brussels-based portal Politico wrote on Monday.

According to the portal, it's likely that the government's five-year efforts to bring Poland's institutions such as the courts and media under tighter political control "will continue with renewed vigor," which means tensions will grow between Warsaw and Brussels, due to fears that Poland is withdrawing from its commitment to liberal democracy.

The author of two texts on the elections in Poland, Zofia Wanat, wrote that the slim advantage of Duda over his rival Rafal Trzaskowski from the centrist Civic Coalition in exit polls, which prevented the announcement of the winner, "is a sign of the country's deep divisions with about half of voters keen to continue with Duda and the governing PiS party's effort to radically restructure Poland, while the other half wants to move the country in a more pro-European direction."

"Duda's campaign, aimed at galvanizing his conservative base by promising continued generous social welfare policies while adding a dose of red meat with his attacks on "LGBT ideology," accusations of German interference in Polish affairs and worries about Jewish calls for wartime reparations," Wanat wrote.

Trzaskowski, according to Politico, largely appealed to people concerned about PiS's efforts to politicise institutions like the courts. An opposition president would be able to veto the party's initiatives, Wanat wrote.

The close exit poll results did not prevent both candidates from claiming victory on Sunday night, she added.