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Elections signal post-socialist Poland’s descent into reaction and repression

Commentary by staff |
July 14, 2020
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On July 12, Poland completed its second round of elections to decide who will be president and whether the far-right, chauvinistic, racist PiS would have full powers of the Sejm - Poland’s equivalent to the House of Representatives. Sadly, despite being incredibly close and potentially contested, the official reports show Andrzej Duda getting 51% of the vote, while his opponent Rafal Trzaskowski achieved 49% of the vote. Duda is the candidate that represented the Prawo I Sprawiedliwosc (in English, the Law and Justice party). His opponent, Trzaskowski, represented the right-centrist party known as the Civil Platform and is mayor of Warszawa, the capital of Poland.

While there are numerous reports of tampering and confusion regarding foreign ballots, as Polish people who live abroad - from the U.S. to the different European Union states - get to participate, it should also be stressed what the election means for Poland. Duda and the Prawo I Sprawiedliwosc (PiS) represent the worst elements of reaction that have come out since the 1989 fall of the People’s Republic of Poland, which ended socialism.

Just a brief list of controversies connected to the PiS-led administration since 2015 includes their repeated attempts to further restrict access to abortion despite Poland already having some of the most restrictive laws on abortion; their refusal to allow Syrian refugees settle in Poland; the continued attack against leftist organizers and activists by attempting to make the KPP, the Communist Party of Poland, and any Marxist-Leninist organizing illegal; illegally attempting to sack Constitutional Judges the PiS did not place in order to seat PiS-lackeys in 2015 and 2017; and finally their sickening attacks on the LGBTQ+ community in Poland, which has led to one third of the country, specifically 100 municipalities and five “vovoidships” (think Polish equivalent of states) declaring themselves “LGBT Ideology-Free Zones” as of July 2020.

Duda himself, on the campaign trail a day before the first round of elections, had called the LGBTQ+ community “worse than communism!” And all the forces of reaction, from ‘trade union’ Solidarnosc that toppled the People’s Republic via CIA funding to the hyper-conservative sections of the Catholic Church, have gathered around in supporting the PiS in their attempt to make Poland as it ‘once’ was. Poland’s independence day, November 11, has become a prop for these reactionaries – as they have infamously gathered in Warszawa for years on end with thousands saying “Pure Poland, white Poland,” and to make Poland remain “White, Catholic and Polish!”

We will need to give our support and solidarity with those in Poland fighting against the reactionary regime of Andrzej Duda and the PiS.

Nie dla Duda, Nie dla Faszyzmu, Wolna Polska!

No Duda, No Fascism, Free Poland!

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