In a second round of Polish regional elections, the right-wing ruling party PiS has lost the bid for mayor posts in other cities, but overall it has risen.
In Krakow and Gdansk (Gdansk), incumbents Jacek Majchrowski and Pawel Adamowicz prevailed over the PiS candidates Malgorzata Wassermann and Kacper Plazynski (both about 30 percent of the vote) with more than 60 percent of the votes, as provisional results of the Institute Ipsos of last night gave. Official results are expected during the day.
„Glass ceiling“ from 200,000
The opposition had already triumphed in the first round of nationwide elections of representatives in municipalities, districts and regional parliaments on 21 October, including in Warsaw, Lodz and Wroclaw (Wroclaw). Now, in about 650 municipalities, the mayors were elected, in which there was no decision in the first round. In places of about 200,000 inhabitants, the PiS collided with a „glass ceiling“, Polish commentators said about the defeat of the national conservatives in the cities.
Alone government in six regional parliaments
Overall, however, the party emerged stronger from the nationwide election: it will rule in six out of 16 Polish regional parliaments in the future alone. So far, the PiS had the absolute majority in only one voivodeship. Experts saw the election as a mood test for the parliamentary election in 2019.
Among other things, the PiS is criticized throughout Europe for its considerable cuts in the independence of the judiciary. Against the disputed compulsory retirement of judges, the EU Commission complained to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and was right in a preliminary injunction. The judgment itself is pending.