With the help of Poland’s right-wing PIS government, the Belarusian leader Lukashenko engineered a humanitarian crisis on Europe’s doorstep. In doing so, he is successfully eroding the European Union’s remaining claim to moral authority.
The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a boom in the use of digital solutions like Zoom or Microsoft Teams, enabling employees across the world to continue working at home, away from their now empty offices. Some companies have struggled to adapt, clinging to the hope of a speedy return to the old normal.
Since coming into power by an overall majority in 2015, the right-wing Christian-nationalist PiS party has engaged in a systematic effort to weaken and destabilize independent media critical of the government, creating a severe concern for political and cultural media diversity in Poland.
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?