Poland's Law and Justice party gains majority in parliament

The right-wing and anti-migrant Law and Justice party has won a majority of seats in Poland's parliament and can govern alone, the state election authority announced today.

Warsaw: The right-wing and anti-migrant Law and Justice party has won a majority of seats in Poland's parliament and can govern alone, the state election authority announced today.

The party got 235 seats in the 460-seat lower house of Poland's parliament and also won a majority in the Senate, the strongest position any single party has ever enjoyed in post-communist Poland to reshape the nation according to its visions.

For Law and Justice, which also has the backing of President Andrzej Duda, that means advocating a combination of Catholic conservative moral policies and increasing state intervention in the economy to help families and the poor.

The party also took a strong anti-migrant stand during the election campaign, criticising the outgoing ruling party, Civic Platform, for agreeing to accept some 7,000 refugees as part of a European Union resettlement plan.

EU President Donald Tusk, who was prime minister of Poland in a Civic Platform government between 2007 and 2014, says the main task of the new government will be to dispel concerns abroad that its policies will be anti-European.

"But let's not exaggerate with those concerns," Tusk said. "We must have contacts with the winners because this is true democracy at work."

In foreign politics, Law and Justice says it wants to protect Poland's business and economic interests. Among other things that means developing own industries rather than buying foreign products, or rejecting EU climate policies, which the party says are hurting Poland's economic development.

It is not clear if it will back a second term for Tusk, a political foe, at the EU's helm.

Some observers say that under the new government Poland could veer toward an isolated, nationalist state like Hungary under Prime Minister Victor Orban.

But political analyst Kazimierz Kik says the policy to strengthen Poland will benefit the EU, not hurt it.

"The majority of Poles are not anti-European and a destructive policy would not be supported here," Kik said. "The case of Orban will not be repeated in Warsaw because Warsaw is at a more central place in Europe." 

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