September 26, 2005


Polish centre-right nears victory (BBC, 9/26/05)

Centre-right parties with links to the former Solidarity movement in Poland have ousted the left in the country's general election.

With 60% of votes counted, the Law and Justice Party (PiS) polled 27%, ahead of the Civic Platform (PO) on 24%.

The vote is being seen as a major snub to the ruling left, who have been hit by scandal and seen unemployment rocket to 18%, highest in the European Union.

The polls are Poland's first since joining the EU in May 2004.

The elections chose the 460-member lower house of parliament while the country will go back to the polls in two weeks to elect a new president.

Law and Justice leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski is expected to become Poland's next prime minister.

His identical twin brother, Lech Kaczynski, is running for president.

Poles Take a Sharp Right in Election, Exit Polls Say (Ela Kasprzycka, September 26, 2005, LA Times)
Polish voters appeared to take a sharp turn to the right Sunday, with exit polls showing that they had swept out of power former Communist leaders tainted by corruption accusations and had handed an election victory to conservative parties that promised more jobs, lower taxes and clean government.

Exit polls for Polish public television showed the anti-corruption Law and Justice Party leading with 27% support and the pro-market Civic Platform a close second with 24%. The two groups, which have their roots in the Solidarity labor movement, together appeared set to win at least 295 seats in the 460-member Sejm, the powerful lower house of parliament.

They also were expected to control the 100-seat upper house, with the exit polls showing that together they would win more than 80 seats. [...]

The ruling Democratic Left Alliance, which had struggled in preelection surveys just to get more than the 5% of the vote required to win any seats in parliament, performed better than expected, capturing 11%, according to exit polls.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 26, 2005 8:03 AM
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