Law and Justice Party won Poland’s Parliamentary Elections 2015

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Who: Law and Justice Party
Where: Poland
What: Won Poland Parliamentary Elections 2015
When: 26 October 2015

Conservative Right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party on 25 October 2015 won the Polish parliamentary elections 2015 that were held on 25 October 2015 in Poland.

As per the preliminary results announced by Polish election body, the euroskeptic and opposition PiS party secured decisive 39.1 percent of the vote against the governing Civic Platform party which fetched 23.4 percent shares of vote.

Following the preliminary result, PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski claimed victory, and the incumbent Prime Minister, Ewa Kopacz of the Civic Platform, admitted defeat.

Three other parties also won enough votes to get seats in parliament: a new right-wing party Kukiz’15 led by Pawel Kukiz got 8.8 percent votes; a new pro-business party Modern Poland got 7.6 percent votes; and the agrarian Polish People’s Party fetched 5.1 percent of votes.

With this, Beata Szydło, the deputy leader of Law and Justice, is set to be designated as the next Prime Minister of Poland, succeeding Ewa Kopacz.

Comment
The Polish parliamentary elections 2015 were a historic one. It will be the first time since 1989 that there will be no left-wing party in parliament and even though conservative PiS party will have a small majority but for the first time since the onset of democracy in Poland in 1989 any single party has won enough seats to govern alone.

Further the PiS party, which won the elections by promising simple and concrete policies for the citizens who felt untouched by the country’s impressive economic growth, is a sign that citizens of Poland had enough of eight years rule of Civic Platform’s unfulfilled promises, scandals and pro-EU policies.

Electoral system of Poland
The process of election for the Polish parliament (Sejm) is through open party-list proportional representation with a 5 percent threshold for single parties and 8 percent threshold for coalitions. The senate is elected using voting in single-member districts.

To be included on a ballot, a senate candidate must present 2000 signatures of support from their constituents. For Sejm elections, the threshold is 5000 signatures per constituency, though that requirement is waived for parties who have already registered lists in at least half of all constituencies.

Overall, the Sejm includes 460 MPs. A party with 231 or more deputies representing the Parliament has an absolute majority and could thus without a coalition partner can govern autonomously. The tenure of both the Sejm and Senate is of four years.