- However claims of voting irregularities means the fight may not be over and could end in court.
Poland’s incumbent President Andrzej Duda has narrowly won yesterday’s presidential election after a campaign full of LGBT+ hate.
The National Electoral Commission said Duda had beaten challenger Rafał Trzaskowski, an ally to the LGBT+ community.
With 99% of all constituencies reporting, Duda had secured a narrow victory with 51.2% of the vote. The results from the remaining polling stations are not likely to change that significantly.
Duda’s victory is the narrowest in Poland’s modern democratic history. And it comes after a tight campaign which Mayor of Warsaw Trzaskowski only entered in the spring.
Throughout the campaign, Duda has stirred up homophobic hatred. It’s a tactic which his Law and Justice (PiS) party has repeatedly used in the past.
Duda’s hate campaign against LGBT+ ‘ideology’
In June he signed a ‘Family Card’ in which he pledged to keep the ban on same-sex marriage and prevent LGBT+ education in schools.
A week later he branded LGBT+ ‘ideology’ as even worse than the communist doctrine his parents’ generation fought.
Moreover, with just days to go before the election, he vowed to explicitly ban same-sex couples from adopting children in a constitutional amendment. Actually the amendment would just entrench the current law, which already excludes same-sex partners from adoption.
By contrast, Trzaskowski is far more supportive of LGBT+ Poles.
He made headlines when he launched an LGBT+ Declaration to protect the community last year.
Meanwhile one of the main election issues was Poland’s increasingly strained relationship with the European Union.
Again, Duda and Trzaskowski have sharply different views with the Mayor of Warsaw a prominent Europhile while the PiS takes a Euroskeptic stance.
Now Duda’s victory will pave the way for the PiS to continue its agenda. This is likely to include controversial reforms to the judiciary and opposition to abortion and LGBT+ rights.
‘Irregularities’ may end in Supreme Court challenge
However the fight may not be over quiet yet.
The opposition Civic Platform group, which backed Trzaskowski – has complained of voting ‘irregularities’.
It told Reuters news agency it was investigating reports that Poles living abroad didn’t receive their voting paperwork in time to take part in the election.
With the result so close, that could lead to a court challenge.
Warsaw University political scientist Anna Materska-Sosnowska told AFP news agency:
‘I think there will certainly be electoral protests and I think the whole issue will end up in the Supreme Court.’