Polish president Andrzej Duda has seen off a challenge from the globalist Mayor of Warsaw in a tight presidential race.
President Duda, the ad hoc candidate for the traditionalist Law and Justice (PiS) party, has won 51.2 per cent of the vote with more than 99 per cent of ballots counted, defeating Rafal Trzaskowski, the globalist, europhile candidate for the Civic Platform (PO) party — described somewhat dubiously as “centre-right” or “liberal-conservative” by much of the mainstream media.
Nevertheless, that the race was so close in what is almost certainly the most conservatively minded country in the developed world is notable.
Poland’s democracy is more parliamentary than presidential, with Duda serving as head of state but not head of government — a role fulfilled by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki — but he nevertheless has an important role in the political process, with powers to veto legislation, ratify (or repudiate) treaties, and so on.
Polish President Vows to Protect Children from ‘LGBT Ideology’, Support Traditional Families https://t.co/NAYYpyofZ1
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 11, 2020
Duda came under sustained attack during the campaign for saying he would “defend children from LGBT ideology” if given a second term — a statement represented by the president’s enemies as a pledge to roll back gay rights or otherwise persecute sexual minorities.
Duda’s supporters, however, say he was actually referring to the importation of such phenomena such as “drag queen story hour”, graphic sex education related to non-conventional relationships in schools, and hormone and gender reassignment surgery for children.
“Parents are responsible for the sexual education of their children,” Duda said, vowing to “protect the interests of the family” and “defend the institution of marriage”.
‘Forcing Migrants on Nations Will Mean the End of the EU’: Polish President https://t.co/gbaHWT7qjP
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 6, 2017
Duda and Law and Justice are typically painted in a negative light by Western news outlets — even notionally right-leaning ones such as Britain’s Telegraph — due to their support for President Trump in the U.S., their refusal to accept EU-imposed migrant quotas, their insistence on supporting mothers to have children rather than increasing immigration to make up for an ageing population, and their determination to combat judicial activism.
The last of these, in particular, has been used as a stick to beat the presidency and the government, with critics claiming judicial reforms are undermining democracy and the rule of law and — although they were largely silent on the previous liberal government attempting to pack the courts with sympathisers before they were turfed out of office.
Questioned by the German media in 2018 on why Polish state media was not covering the tussle over judicial reform in the courts of the European Union — which has consistently intervened in Poland’s domestic affairs — more prominently, Duda was characteristically robust.
“In Poland, it works in such a way that if a woman or group of women are raped that you can be sure the media would immediately report about it with all the details we have at that moment. So we definitely have a free press in Poland,” he said, referring to the initial cover-up of mass sexual assaults by migrants in Cologne in which the media appeared to be complicit.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 28, 2016
Following his latest election win, however, Duda has struck a unifying tone.
“It was an emotional campaign, and these emotions were unnecessary,” he said.
“I wish we can live peacefully in our country, that people can be kind to each other and that we can shake hands with a neighbour who has different opinions,” he added.
Polish President Thanks Trump for Fighting Fake News https://t.co/kfQrdAUZIB
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 18, 2018