PiS Results in Polish Elections and Referendum: Yes, But No

Polish politician Donald Tusk in 2017 (Photo: Raul Mee / EU2017EE / Flickr.com)

The people of Poland voted not just at the country’s general elections yesterday, but also about the four migration-related questions the – most probably – outgoing right-aligned government posed them. While PiS is not going to able to remain in power, the referendum shows a very definite stance, though the results are still sour in this respect as well.

Yesterday’s general elections in Poland ended with governing party Law and Justice (PiS) taking around 36.6 percent of the votes – with final results still pending – but the victory wil surely be sour since the right-wing coalition by all estimates will not have an absolute majority in Polish parliament, making the Civic Opposition – led by former President of the European Council Donald Tusk – the effective winner.

PiS’s ambiguous victory continued in the referendum which was held simultaneously: most Poles reject the European Union’s new migratory mechanism, they don’t want to suspend border control on the Belarusian border, reject foreign purchases in strategic sectors and they also do not want higher retirement age to be introduced.

Everything went according to PiS’s plan but there’s a catch: due to low participation (only around 40 percent) the referendum will not be binding.

As Polish news site Notes from Poland points out there was a call on Poles to boycott the referendum by stating on arrival that they wanted only ballot papers for the election. It appears that almost half of those voting followed that suggestion.

During voting, figures linked to PiS complained about reports that staff at some polling stations were asking voters whether they wanted ballot papers for the referendum. They suggested that this was an unlawful attempt to reduce turnout.

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