Poland's Eurosceptic conservatives set to unseat ruling centrists in vote

By REUTERS
October 25, 2015 20:18
1 minute read.

WARSAW - Poles voted on Sunday in an election likely to usher the euro-skeptic conservative opposition into power, ending nearly a decade of stability in central-eastern Europe's biggest economy and setting Poland at odds with some of its European allies.

If opinion polls are correct, the ruling Civic Platform (PO), a pro-market, center-right grouping in power for eight years, will lose to the conservative Law and Justice opposition party (PiS), run by the twin brother of late president Lech Kaczynski, Jaroslaw.

Most polls show PiS as the frontrunner on more than 30 percent. PO is second with just over 20 percent.

Distrustful of the European Union and an advocate of a strong NATO hand in dealing with Moscow, PiS opposes joining the euro zone in the near future, promises more welfare spending on the poor and wants banks subject to new taxation.

Michal Zurawski, in his mid-30s, who voted for PiS in the morning in central Warsaw, said he backed the party's anti-corruption narrative and economic program.

"Their offer is targeted at those who are less affluent and that suits me. Taking care of this group and creating better social and labor conditions for them is good - will benefit Poland's economy and the country as a whole," Zurawski said.

Poland's election body said nearly 39 percent of those eligible had cast their votes by 1600 GMT on Sunday, slightly more than at the same time during the last parliamentary election four years ago.

Higher turnout has in the past been less favorable to PiS and may be good news for several smaller parties also running, who span the political spectrum from ultra-right to liberal and extreme left.

PiS opposes relocating migrants from the Middle East to Poland, arguing they could threaten Poland's Catholic way of life - raising the prospect of tensions with the EU on the issue.


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