President Duda: What happened in Poland?

Written by on May 25, 2015 in Perspectives - Comments Off on President Duda: What happened in Poland?

Andrzej Duda’s success in Poland’s presidential election is a political earthquake. Not only did Duda, an inexperienced, second-rank politician from the opposition Law and Justice Party, outwit all the opinion pollsters and media who even two months ago hardly gave him a chance to make it to the second round.

Duda – a conservative Eurosceptic whose party (led by the former Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski) is politically close to Britain’s Tories, the Czech conservatives and Hungary’s Victor Orban – triumphed in a country which is widely known for its strong pro-European sentiments and its stunning economic performance in the last decade under the leadership of Donald Tusk, now President of the European Council.

Is Poland, until now a bastion of stability and reliability in a Europe shaken by populism and popular discontent, about to defect?  And how is it possible that 52 per cent of Poles gave their votes to the candidate of a party that rejects the current model of the Polish republic and harshly criticises the very achievements of the last quarter-century that underpinned Poland’s reputation across Europe?

For the full article, please visit the website of the European Council on Foreign Relations.

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About the Author

Piotr Buras is a journalist, author and expert in German and European politics. Between 2008 and 2012 he worked as a columnist and Berlin correspondent for “Gazeta Wyborcza”, the biggest Polish daily. He started his professional career in the late 1990s at the Center for International Relations in Warsaw, one of the first Polish think-tanks. He continued his career at the Institute for German Studies at the University of Birmingham and at the University of Wroclaw (Poland). He was also visiting fellow at the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik in Berlin. His recent book “Moslems and the other Germans. The Reinvention of the Berlin Republic” was published in Polish in 2011.