Poland’s ruling PiS populists set to win local elections

Poland’s ruling populists, the Law and Justice Party (PiS) are set to be the winners in the country’s local elections, according to an exit poll.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the party’s leader, described the results as a “good sign” and added that it “bodes well for the future”.

The party, which has governed the country since 2015, has repeatedly clashed with the European Union over controversial reforms to its justice system and its refusal to accept the bloc’s mandatory refugee quota system.

While the party performed well in small towns and villages, the country’s main cities, including Warsaw, Poznan and Lublin, backed the pro-EU Civic Platform party, whose former leader Donald Tusk now sits as President of the European Council.

According to the Associated Press, the result suggests many poles dislike its leader’s constant rows with the EU.

Last year, the EU took steps to invoke Article 7 of its founding treaty against Poland, the first time it has ever done so against any member state in its history, which could lead to its funding and voting rights being withdrawn by the bloc.

Earlier this month the European Court of Justice ordered the government to suspend the court reforms and reinstate judges that were forced to retire when the compulsory retirement age was lowered to 65.

Failure to comply with the order could see fines levied against the country.

Regardless of whether or not Poland complies with the judgement, it is likely to prolong the tensions between the ruling government and the European Union.

Full results from the election are expected by Wednesday.

Comment here