Poland casts its vote as a nation divided. But can the election deliver true change?

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06/25/2020

It’s been Poland’s strangest presidential election campaign in living memory. Granted, it’s the first that’s taken place during a pandemic, but in the last three months the country hasn’t just experienced one of the strictest lockdown regimes around, it has seen a brutal political battle. The ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) has fought for the re-election of president Andrzej Duda by any means necessary. On Sunday, Poles will head to polling stations – and the fact they’re doing it at all, given that Covid-19 has been on the rise again since the easing of lockdown rules a couple of weeks ago, is questionable. PiS immediately started a smear campaign against Trzaskowski, with the liberal candidate presented as an LGBT rainbow warrior and a Bolshevik (in reality, he’s only moderately to the left and has never offered a firm pro-LGBT stance). If Trzaskowski were to win the election, he could pose a serious blow to the PiS influence on Polish society.

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