It is not the first time that November 11th – Poland’s Independence Day to commemorate the restoration of its sovereign state in 1918 after 123 years of occupation by the German, Austrian-Hungry and Russian empires – had been hijacked by far-right groups wreaking havoc in the streets.
In Poland’s Presidential election, Andrzej Duda, the incumbent with strong ties to the Law and Justice (PiS) party, secured his re-election by a tiny majority of just 1.2% over his liberal rival, Rafał Trzaskowski.
Poland has one of Europe’s most restrictive abortion laws, yet the government hopes to reduce healthcare provision for women even more by criminalizing abortions in cases of severe fetal abnormalities.
The delayed elections give the opposition a small but significant window of opportunity to make known the responsibilities of the office of president – to make often tricky decisions for the good of the nation. President Duda has already shown to be Kaczynski’s president, not the people’s president.
The conservative Law and Justice (PiS) government has conducted a calculated attack on the rule of law in Poland since it came into power in 2015, securing an overall majority in the Sejm, the lower house of the Parliament.
Amid the pandemic outbreak of COVID-19, the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party in Poland shows no intention of postponing the presidential elections scheduled for May 10. The outcome is likely to be deemed illegitimate. Will this be the last straw for Polish democracy?