PO Wins European Elections, PiS Protests
June 3, 2014
In a key test of support ahead of parliamentary and presidential elections next year, the governing Civic Platform (PO) party narrowly won Poland’s European Parliament ballot May 25, official results showed.
But the conservative opposition Law and Justice (PiS) party, PO’s arch-rival, claimed it had evidence of irregularities in the way the European Parliament election was held, adding that these may have affected the final results.
According the State Electoral Commission, Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s center-right, EU-friendly PO, which had fallen behind PiS in recent opinion polls, was backed by 32.13 percent of those who voted. The conservative, Euroskeptic PiS, led by Jarosław Kaczyński, scored 31.78 percent, the commission said.
The biggest surprise of the elections was the 7.15 percent backing for the radical, anti-EU Congress of the New Right, led by outspoken political maverick Janusz Korwin-Mikke. The party, which was seen as the dark horse of the race, was running for the European Parliament in order to “blow it up” from the inside, Korwin-Mikke said.
The Democratic Left Alliance-Union of Labor (SLD-UP) was backed by 9.44 percent of Poles, according to official results.
The Polish People’s Party (PSL), the junior partner in Poland’s coalition government, won 6.80 percent of the vote.
Voter turnout was a mere 23.83 percent.
Poland will have 51 seats in the new European Parliament. PiS and the PO will each have 19 seats, the SLD-UP will have five, and the Congress of the New Right and the PSL will have four each.
No other parties scored the 5 percent level of support needed to make it into the European Parliament. The conservative Solidarna Polska party was backed by 3.98 percent of voters, the liberal Europa Plus/Your Movement by 3.57 percent, the conservative Poland Together party by 3.16 percent, and the hardline right-wing National Movement by 1.39 percent, according to Poland’s State Electoral Commission.