Poland Elections 2015: Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s Eurosceptic Law and Justice Party Tipped to Win
Poles are voting in the country’s parliamentary elections, with the conservatives hoping to return to power after eight years in opposition.
Opinion polls in run-up to the election put the Law and Justice party, led by Jaroslaw Kaczynski well ahead of Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz’s Civic Platform party.
Law and Justice party regained the presidency in May when Andrzej Duda won the poll.
The party is most strongly supported in rural areas and by those who close to Poland’s powerful Roman Catholic Church.
Civic Platform has been hit by disrepute, with a number of ministers caught up in an eavesdropping scandal last year.
On October 23, Deputy Justice Minister Monika Zbrojewska was fired after being charged with DUI.
Europe’s refugee crisis also proved to be a key topic of debate before the election. While the government has agreed to take in 7,000 refugees, opposition parties have spoken out against the move.
Last week, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, 66, was criticized for suggesting refugees could bring diseases and parasites to Poland.
He is not running as prime minister, and has instead nominated Beata Szydlo, a relative unknown, as the party’s choice for the post.
However, some observers think Jaroslaw Kaczynski will take on the top job himself, if Law and Justice scores a convincing victory.
The result of the election is likely to be closely followed among Eurosceptic nations.
While Civic Platform sought close ties with the EU, one Law and Justice party member told Reuters they were keen for “a less bureaucratic, more cost-effective EU that does not seek deeper political integration”.