In Poland, two visions of society compete in the presidential election

It is a very close second round announced, on Sunday, between the outgoing president Andrzej Duda and the young mayor of Warsaw Rafal Trzaskowski. Poles have to choose between two radically opposite visions that announce very different directions for the country, especially in their relations with Brussels.

The outgoing president, Andrzej Duda (Conservative Law and Justice Party, PIS), who thought he would win the election in the first round, must face the unexpected breakthrough of the Civic Platform (PO), led by his opponent, Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski , in the polls.

If President Duda came out on top with more than 43% of the vote in the first round, his opponent who crossed the symbolic field with 30% of the vote represents a real threat to the second round on Sunday.

Andrzej Duda, however, benefited from significant media coverage while conducting an election campaign that was sometimes surprising. If he failed to convince as much as he thought, it was partly because of his controversial comments directed at the LGBT community. The attempt to hold the presidential election in May, in the midst of a pandemic, also cost him some popularity points.

The vote will favor the liberal candidate

The Liberal candidate, very popular in the big cities, is about to seduce a large part of the electorate to the independent, Szymon Holownia, third man in this election (13.87% of the vote in the first round). The latter believes that the outgoing president is leading the country towards authoritarianism. If he has not formally called to support Rafal Trzaskowski, Szymon Holownia publicly expresses points of conformity with his ideas, as France 24 correspondent in Warsaw explains, Gulliver Cragg.

The various voting reserves are an important issue in the second round of this presidential election. The question also arises for supporters of the young nationalist candidate Krzysztof Bosak. Who will the voters who allowed the far right party get 6.75% of the vote in the first round?

Both Andrzej Duda and Rafal Trzaskowski hope to win over Krzysztof Bosak’s voters by emphasizing their common point: the traditional values ​​of the outgoing president and fight against the bureaucratic monopoly of power for the Liberal candidate.

One Poland, two visions

There is a real ideological and cultural struggle going on during this election campaign. The two candidates who cross iron embody two diametrically opposed visions of Poland and its future.

Europe is at the heart of the challenges of this election, which may redefine relations between Warsaw and Brussels. Rafal Trzaskowski has also presented himself as the candidate who will rejoin Europe and who will guarantee real democracy in the country.

Due to the persistent contradictions between Poland and Europe, in particular regarding the reform of justice which increases the control of the judiciary and the public media’s assessment that is too favorable for PiS, Brussels follows this election very closely. l

On Sunday, the Poles will say whether they maintain their confidence in Duda or if they want to turn the page on the ultra-conservative PiS, which has been in power since 2015.