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Tag Archives: Aleks Szczerbiak

Can Poland’s opposition win this year’s election?

Poland will hold parliamentary elections later this year. Aleks Szczerbiak writes that the country’s liberal-centrist opposition retains considerable assets, and the overall balance of support between it and the right-wing governing camp remains evenly balanced. But the opposition has wasted too much time looking inward rather than crafting a convincing programmatic alternative, and it still does not know in what configuration it will contest the election. Poland’s liberal-centrist opposition...

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What did the European elections tell us about Poland’s upcoming parliamentary elections?

An unexpectedly decisive European Parliament election victory gave Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party a major boost ahead of parliamentary elections later this year, although doubts remain over whether it will retain its majority. Aleks Szczerbiak explains that simply uniting the main anti-government parties in an ideologically diverse electoral alliance was clearly not enough for the opposition, which still lacks a dynamic leader and a convincing programmatic alternative. The right-wing...

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Have the ‘Kaczyński tapes’ had any impact on Polish politics?

Earlier this year, recordings emerged of the leader of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party discussing a lucrative construction project. Aleks Szczerbiak writes that despite the Polish opposition hoping the case might damage the government’s political appeal, Law and Justice retains credibility among its core supporters and the circumstances surrounding the revelations are too complex for them to be a political game changer. At the end of January, Jarosław Kaczyński, the leader of Poland’s...

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Can Robert Biedroń save the Polish left?

The Polish left-wing politician Robert Biedroń is planning to launch a new political movement in February, ahead of parliamentary elections due to be held later this year. Aleks Szczerbiak explains that as Poland’s most popular and charismatic left-wing politician, Biedroń’s initiative stands a good chance of achieving short-term success. But the grouping’s longer-term prospects are much more questionable, and it has faced sharp criticism that it is dividing the opposition and playing into...

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Will Law and Justice win this year’s elections in Poland?

Poland’s ruling party, Law and Justice, has based its appeal on claiming to offer socio-economic stability and prosperity while downplaying controversial issues to avoid mobilising its opponents. Aleks Szczerbiak writes that ahead of parliamentary elections later this year, the party retains a lead in the polls and is still viewed as more credible than the liberal-centrist opposition on the issues citizens care most about. The coming year will be a crucial one for Polish politics as the...

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How will ‘Polexit’ play out in Polish politics?

The claim by Poland’s liberal-centrist opposition that the country’s Law and Justice government wants to take Poland out of the EU is potentially extremely dangerous for the ruling party. Aleks Szczerbiak explains that to neutralise the opposition’s apparently effective narrative, the Polish government is now trying to defuse its row with the EU institutions while leaving the core of its contested judicial reforms intact. Last month, the Polish government – which, since autumn 2015, has been...

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Who really won Poland’s local elections?

Poland held local elections on 21 October, followed by a second round of voting on 4 November. The elections were billed as a key test for the country’s Law and Justice government. As Aleks Szczerbiak explains, the liberal-centrist opposition mobilised its core supporters in urban areas, winning high profile mayoral races, but Law and Justice won the more politically significant regional polls. He argues that unless the opposition can broaden its appeal and attract more voters in smaller...

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Why do Poland’s local elections matter?

Poland is set to hold local elections, with the first round of voting taking place on 21 October, followed by a second round of voting on 4 November. Aleks Szczerbiak writes that the elections will be an important test of popularity for Poland’s government and opposition parties. Although the governing Law and Justice party is currently riding high in the polls, the vote could be problematic due to high expectations and a lack of coalition potential, coupled with media focus on mayoral...

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How is the conflict over judicial reforms affecting Polish politics?

Controversy surrounding the Polish government’s judicial reform programme has undermined its strategy of pivoting to the centre in the run-up to the country’s next parliamentary and presidential elections. But as Aleks Szczerbiak writes, in spite of misgivings about the reforms, the ruling party is in tune with Poles on the social and economic issues they care most about, and the opposition has so far offered little alternative beyond the defence of an unpopular judicial status quo. Credit:...

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What are the prospects for Poland’s rock star-politician Paweł Kukiz?

Although Polish rock star-politician Paweł Kukiz’s political grouping is an unstable construct, lacking organisational and programmatic coherence, it remains the Polish government’s only potential coalition partner and could still emerge as king-maker after the country’s next parliamentary election. Aleks Szczerbiak explains that the key to its survival and future success is still Mr Kukiz’s continued credibility as an ‘anti-system’ fighter against the political establishment. Paweł Kukiz,...

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