Rural-city cut up defines Polish presidential race

Posted On Jul 17, 2020 By admin With Comments Off on Rural-city cut up defines Polish presidential race



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CHRZANOW, Poland — This hamlet in eastern Poland is distinguished by two various kinds of enshrines — the roadside crossings dedicated to Jesus Christ and the electoral banners of President Andrzej Duda.

The hamlet of 1,500 beings, huddled in fields of wheat, sugar beet and tobacco, is part of Duda’s rural electoral stronghold; he got 91 percentage of the vote in the first round of the presidential election on June 28. His main opponent, centrist Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski of the Civic Platform( PO) party, composed simply 2 percent.

There’s nothing to suggest any displacement in mind ahead of Sunday’s run-off election.

“People believe in what he’s doing. He’s fulfilling his promises, ” said Leszek, a 51 -year-old farmer, as he was driving his tractor residence from his realm. “He’s also a faithful Catholic. Here in Chrzanow, everyone goes to church. Trzaskowski’s examines are much more for the city parties , not for the countryside.”

The sentiment and the segment of votes is similar in many Polish villages — regions that form the bedrock of support for Duda and the verdict nationalist Law and Justice( PiS) party that backs him.

That’s not the case in Poland’s booming municipals, where Trzaskowski is far ahead of Duda.

“I analyzed the electoral programs of both candidates. It wasn’t an easy select, but for me the determining factor was Pi’Ss approach to the law, ” said Filip Jatelnicki, a 22 -year-old Warsaw university student. “They bend the law to carry out their plans.”

The rural-urban division has come to define Polish politics, and will play a key role in Sunday’s vote — polls show Duda and Trzaskowski in a statistical dead heat.

PiS does very well in the countryside, powered by a heady mixture of Catholic piety, pleads to Polish patriotism and ponderous quantities of social spending aimed at older and poorer voters — precisely the kind of people who tend to live in places like Chrzanow.

It wasn’t always the case. In the past, left-wing parties and a Christian Democratic grouping called the Polish People’s Party( often known as the Peasants’ Party) did well there. But Duda and PiS deepened that.

In the presidential elections five years ago, Duda — then an uncharted challenger drew from the back benches of the European Parliament by PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski — tirelessly crisscrossed the country, tailoring his appeal to people who felt forgotten by the Civic Platform governments of Donald Tusk, the onetime Polish prime minister and European Council president.

Duda was the first to propose flagship social reforms — a monthly handout of 500 zloty( EUR1 12) for children and lowering the retirement age — later are caught up by his party.

“Eastern Poland was abandoned before. Have you seen this concrete street? It wasn’t now five years ago. No one is going abroad anymore to work, beings have errands now. We lastly got money to make our boys for anniversaries, ” said 41 -year-old Piotr, supervising a unit of workers laying a brand-new sidewalk in Chrzanow.

Over the last five years, Duda has invested big exertion in cultivating his rural base.

He shows up at country fairs, was welcomed by people wearing traditional organizations, and even takes part in rural dances. He’s pious and makes a show of commemorating Poland’s brutal wartime past.

That does ridiculed in the cities, where he’s laughed at as a “kneeling president” — for kneeling in church and before national monuments — while liberal media notes the affinity between high-level visits and those of old-style Communist Party chiefs.

That pieces no ice in the countryside, where he’s seen as embodying Poland’s traditional ethics in contrast to the Westernized cities.

On the campaign trail, he’s predominantly eschewing bigger cities. Instead of viewing the election evening on June 28 in a big city convention center, Duda was in the central Polish town of Lomza, surrounded by females wearing the region’s rainbow-colored skirts, black bodices and puffy lily-white blouses.




It’s not all smiles and dances. Duda is building a big part of his campaign on attacking what he calls LGBTQ “ideology” and pledging to amend the constitution to ban the adoption of children by same-sex duos. He’s darkly intimated at German interference in Polish things while Kaczynski and his backers in the regime media accuse Trzaskowski of aiming to sell Poland out to Jewish interests.

“It’s a well-thought-out move by Duda to divide Polish society, ” said Jatelnicki.

Duda is also attacking big-city upper-class — protruding fun at the names of Warsaw and Krakow, even though he showers from Krakow, Poland’s third-biggest city, holds a Ph.D. in constitution and comes from a traditional academic city family.

“I want to keep developing plans … for kinfolks. Defend the family, attack “their childrens”, ” he said at a rally in Stargard in northern Poland. “And not to defend the elites … so that they can stay on their pedestals and be some sort of better part of Polish society.”

That scorn is aimed at Trzaskowski and his most visible allies. The mayor is a former minister and MEP and a grad of various international universities. He’s a polyglot, smoothly refuting reporters’ questions in English and French. He name-drops philosophers Baruch Spinoza and Edgar Morin in casual conversation.

For more polling data from across Europe visit POLITICO Poll of Polls.

His election-eve event was held at a trendy new Warsaw shopping mall.

Duda’s adherents make a fuss about Trzaskowski’s more shaky ties to the church, including not sending his son for first communion, and his backing for LGBTQ privileges as Warsaw mayor. Right-wing stores allege Trzaskowski of betraying traditional Polish values.

But despite his obvious radical attitudes, Trzaskowski( “whos also” from Krakow and, like Duda, likewise 48) has learned lessons from the previous campaigns in which his party didn’t bother making much of an effort to appeal to rural voters. He’s spending a lot of time in small towns and villages.

He’s likewise promising not to invalidate any of the social benefits introduced by PiS and even suggests new ones, which is fundamental for rural voters.

But a big part of his appeal is that he’d stop Pi’Ss efforts to politicize “peoples courts”, the media and other institutions — issues that have created years of tensions with the European Commission.

“I dream about Poland … of open, accept, brave and defiant parties. I dream of the country where people have strong spines and don’t give in to the repressive power, ” he said at one of his mobilizes, adding that PiS “is seeking to get a monopoly of power.”

“We can break this monopoly, we can have a strong, independent president.”

He’s also ambivalent about Poland’s stern abortion restrictions — something that infuriates countless preachers in the strong Roman Catholic Church.

In Boby, precisely 60 kilometers from Chrzanow, a pastor even brought politics into a funeral service this week, announcing on parishioners to vote for “a candidate who respects God’s values.”

That’s the kind of voice that has authority in Poland’s small towns and villages.

Read more: politico.com









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