On Sunday, in the governmental elections, Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (Law and Justice – PiS) gained 37.5% of votes thus obtaining 232 parliament seats and winning the elections. With the absolute majority PiS will not need to create a coalition with another party, and will be able to govern the country alone. The previously ruling party – Platforma Obywatelska (Civic Platform – PO) got 24% of votes, and all the other parties less than 10% each.

Teacher nun with bible image

Religious studies are Catholic studies

What are the plans for Poland of the new ruling party? There are quite a few changes they are planning. PiS is a conservative rightwing party with strong Christian roots. They want to focus on family welfare and “moral national restoration”. Here are some of their postulates:

  • In the programme of the party from last year there is an idea of a super prime minister who “would have the right to issue binding instructions to ministers on important issues for the implementation of state policy” and “could annull their general acts”.
  • For PiS the Christian church “in our national life, and the state is extremely important, we want to maintain (its status) and we believe that attempts to destroy (it) and unfair attacks on the Church are threatening the social life”. Religion as a school subject might become one of the obligatory matura (high school graduation examination) subjects.
  • PiS plans to convert state companies, which are the public media, into cultural or higher public utility institutions. The funding would come from a “special universal media fee, lower than the (current) subscription and with no need to register receivers.” The mission of public media would be to “build national identity” through great film productions based on the classics of Polish literature. In prime time media would help to “make up for deficiencies in civic education of Poles” and “explain to them the rules of functioning of the state and the most important areas of public life: education, health care, pension budget. We must move away from childish, tabloid formats of information”.
  • Civil unions would be prohibited by an act of law saying that “public authorities do not regulate the matters of non-marital couples or do not keep their records.”
  • In 2018 PiS plans to celebrate the 100th anniversary of independence and open a Polish History Museum, Museum of Józef Piłsudski and the Second Republic in Sulejówek.
  • Middle schools (gimnazjum) would be abolished and the old 8+4 education system restored. Parents would still be able to send their 6-year-olds to school.
  • PiS would not prohibit in vitro insemination but would not give financial support either. The party is quiet about the abortion law, but their programme says they are pro-life and anti-euthanasia.
  • In foreign policy they come up with slogans about the end of mainstream politics, but “cannot mean that we will be on the sidelines”. We should first of all defend our interests, and “even consider the scenarios where we find ourselves outside the (European) Union.” But “we should prevent the disintegration of the EU, as a return to the classic power politics is not beneficial for us, but oppose centralisation, as this further limits the sovereignty of Poland”.
  • They also want to resolve the conflict in the East “by strict observance of international law”, rebuild the solidarity of the region and build a coalition of states of Central Europe. They declare closer relations with the US and that “there is no room for any war with Russia.”
  • PiS is against entering the Euro zone today. They also do not agree to accept refugees into Poland.

In the next couple of days Polish citizens will know with certainty who exactly will be representing them in the world and who will be deciding their future. It is most probable that the party’s lead candidate Beata Szydło will become the prime minister. Later today the National Electoral Commission is to anounce the individual Parliament mandates and the attendance at the elections.

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