Winner Loses: Poland Counts 100% of Votes with Record Turnout
As of the morning of October 17, Poland's National Electoral Commission has counted 100% of the votes in the parliamentary elections.
This news comes from the National Electoral Commission.
According to the commission's data, the "Law and Justice" party garnered 35.38% of the votes, the "Civic Coalition" received 30.70%, the "Third Way" secured 14.40%, the "New Left" achieved 8.61%, and the "Confederation" obtained 7.16%.
These results closely align with the late Ipsos exit polls, indicating that the democratic opposition has a chance to secure 249 seats in the Sejm, the lower house of the parliament, thereby obtaining a parliamentary majority.
The voter turnout reached a record-breaking 74.38%.
The election results place the "Law and Justice" party (PiS) in the lead with 196 seats in the parliament, but this falls short of a majority in the 460-member lower house.
The first move lies with President Andrzej Duda, a former member of PiS who has always been loyal to the party. He has stated that traditionally, presidents choose the leader of the largest party to attempt to form a government. However, if PiS genuinely cannot manage it, Duda might delay the formation of a stable government.
According to the Polish Constitution, the president must convene a new session of the parliament within 30 days after the elections. Then, he has 14 days to nominate a candidate for the position of prime minister. After the candidate is named, they have 14 days to secure a vote of confidence in the parliament.
In the Polish parliament, coalitions do not need to be documented, so PiS will only require one vote of approval from its allies to confirm the government led by the "new-old" Prime Minister Morawiecki.
However, most observers agree that gathering a majority within the required 14 days from the nomination of the PiS prime minister candidate, as mandated by the constitution, will be a daunting task.
In such a case, the parliament will elect a prime minister candidate.
This means that three opposition parties – the "Civic Coalition," the "Third Way," and the "Left" – may have a chance to form a government by mid-December, with a combined total of 249 seats in the new legislative body.
The new administration's first task will be to dismiss PiS-appointed officials in the government, media, and state corporations. Most of them are at risk of being removed.
"We will remove all members of supervisory boards and boards of directors. We will hold new transparent competitions in which competence, rather than family and party ties, will be the decisive factor," states the pre-election program of the "Civic Coalition."
Although the prime minister, the government, and the parliamentary majority grant access to many levers of power in the country, the Polish political system will still bear the "traces of the previous government's presence," and PiS supporters will resist any attempts to negate the achievements of the eight years of their rule.
As reported by The Gaze, exit polls in Poland predict a change of power: "Law and Justice" will secure the first place but may not form a coalition.