Warsaw mayor survives referendum in key test for government
October 15, 2013
Warsaw mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz
Ruling party Civic Platform (PO) saw its deputy chairman Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz retain her job of Warsaw mayor, as a local referendum to recall her failed on too low turnout sparing
an increasingly embattled government a major blow.
Turnout was at 25.66% with 343,732 valid votes cast, below the 29.1% threshold required to make the vote valid (or 389,430 votes).
Out of votes cast 322,017 Warsaw citizens or 93.7% voted in favor of dismissing the mayor, while 17,465 people voted against it.
The fact that the referendum failed is a moderate success of PO as the vote aimed at the party's mayor dismissal was a warning from voters, a political scientist Aleksander Smolar said in an interview for Gazeta Wyborcza daily.
PO's prominent politician Andrzej Halicki also said that the vote was a warning for the party. According to Smolar, Warsaw inhabitants accept Gronkiewicz-Waltz's policy, but many of them do not like her leadership style.
The results of the referendum are also regarded as a failure of the opposition party Law and Justice (PiS), which was heavily involved in the campaign against the Warsaw mayor. PiS, entering the campaign with its political slogans, discouraged a number of voters, who considered the referendum to be a social initiative, the daily Rzeczpospolita said.