Jul 13, 2020 14:20 UTC
  • Duda wins Poland presidential election in boost for planned judicial reforms

Poland’s incumbent Andrzej Duda has narrowly won the presidential election, paving the way for the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party to push ahead with its controversial judicial reforms at the parliament.

The National Electoral Commission announced on Monday that results coming from over 99% of the polling stations showed that Duda, a nonmember ally of the ruling PiS nationalists party, had won the election with 51.21%.

His rival, opposition candidate Rafal Trzaskowski, had received 48.79% of the vote, according to the electoral body, which put the turnout at over 68%.

The Commission, however, said it would announce the official results as a number of polling stations, including those abroad, had yet to submit their counts.

The opposition had earlier announced it was collecting information about what it described as voting irregularities.

“We are gathering information and signals about different irregularities ... so we don’t have a full picture of the situation,” Tomasz Siemoniak, an opposition member of parliament told Reuters.

However, another opposition member of the parliament, Grzegorz Schetyna, told private broadcaster TVN24, that the opposition needed to concede its defeat.

“I think that this difference is large enough that we have to accept the result,” Schetyna said.

PiS, after eight years in the opposition, came to power in late 2015. The nationalist party promptly launched reforms targeting bodies like the judiciary and the media, in what critics have called bids to consolidate power.

The governing party could now use Duda’s win to push ahead with the overhaul of the judiciary, a policy criticized by the European Union and many other international organizations, which argue that the reforms will undermine the rule of law in Poland.