- Hans Weber
- December 6, 2023
Polish Ruling Party Shifts Election Campaign Focus to Protect National Interests
Quoted in Gazeta Wyborcza, a prominent member of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party expressed a significant shift in the election campaign focus. The statement emphasized that while it would not directly be anti-Ukrainian rhetoric, the party’s priority would be Polish interests over Ukrainian interests.
The Polish ruling party, Law and Justice (PiS), has signaled a notable change in its election campaign approach, with a strong emphasis on safeguarding Polish interests over Ukrainian interests. The statement, quoted in the Polish liberal newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, has shed light on a shift that has been evident in the party’s stance towards Ukraine for some time.
The strained Polish-Ukrainian relations have become a central issue in this election campaign, with both countries summoning each other’s ambassadors for explanations. One of the key factors contributing to the dispute is the disagreement over Ukrainian grain imports, with Poland expressing concerns about price dumping. This issue has significant implications for Polish farmers and rural communities, which form a crucial support base for the PiS party. Chairman Jaroslaw Kaczyński aims to maintain this support and protect farmers’ interests, hence the strong focus on Polish interests in the campaign.
Another significant aspect influencing PiS’s campaign strategy is the presence of approximately one million refugees, particularly young Ukrainian women, in Poland. This has led to increased competition in various sectors, including traditionally female-dominated professions and the “marriage market.” The party aims to address concerns related to this demographic shift and mitigate any potential risks faced by Polish women voters.
Despite leading in pre-election polls against the liberal Civic Coalition (KO), PiS is also facing competition from the far-right Confederation for Freedom and Independence (Confederation). The Confederation’s opposition to a liberal refugee policy has resonated with some PiS voters, and their rising popularity poses a challenge to the ruling party. The Confederation holds 14 percent of the vote, making them a potential influencer in the election outcome.
To bolster its popularity and address voter concerns, PiS has announced a series of measures aimed at improving the economic situation for the population. However, the opposition has criticized these measures as populist and vote-buying tactics. The planned 60 percent increase in monthly child allowances, provision of free medicines for those over 65, and abolishment of tolls on certain national motorways are part of the party’s strategy to appeal to a broader voter base.
While the exact date of the parliamentary elections in Poland is yet to be announced by the president, they are expected to be held in autumn, no earlier than 15 October, with the announcement deadline set for 14 August. As the campaign unfolds, the nation will closely watch how PiS’s shift in focus towards protecting Polish interests plays out and influences voter sentiment in this highly contested election.
Article by Prague Forum