Duda becomes Poland's new president
Andrzej Dudas' victory in Poland's presidential election on Sunday means that for the first time in five years a politician belonging to the nationalist conservative PiS party will occupy a leading position in Poland. Some commentators say that current president Bronisław Komorowski's defeat was the result of his arrogance. Others point out that Duda owes his victory mainly to Poland's young.
Dissatisfied Polish youths helped Duda
Andrzej Duda owes his victory to the dissatisfied Polish youth, the centre-right daily Neue Zürcher Zeitung comments: "Under its smooth surface, the 'model pupil' Poland that made it through the European economic and financial crisis of the past years without a recession is seething. The younger generation is suffering most. Youth unemployment is high and the young have less job protection and less pay than their older colleagues. ... Bureaucratic obstacles and deep distrust in the state have caused almost 2.5 million primarily young, well educated Poles to leave for Western Europe. If Andrzej Duda and the PiS manage to regenerate Poland and offer the young better prospects, it would no doubt be good for the country. Nevertheless it is to be feared that Poland's youthful glow will soon be tarnished by the PiS's backward-looking ideology."
Komorowski's arrogance led to his downfall
Encumbent Polish President Bronisław Komorowski has his own arrogance to blame for his defeat, the Catholic website Gość Niedzielny comments: "Many commentators are wondering how it was possible for a rational and predictable politician who only six months ago enjoyed such a high level of public trust to lose the election. He lost because he told the voters that the country would return to the Dark Ages if he didn't win. In so doing he discredited an entire group of voters. Komorowski led a negative campaign against a weaker opponent, with the support of the state institutions and a large part of the media. And even after the results were announced, he didn't understand what the voters were trying to tell him. Yet a change of president is something entirely natural in a democracy."
Duda's election bad news for EU
For the liberal daily Dennik N the outcome of Poland's presidential election is appalling: "Andrzej Duda's victory is bad news for the EU, for our region and for Poland itself. If Duda remains loyal to his party leader Kaczyński this could be the start of profound and negative changes. … Duda embodies the section of Polish society that is close to neo-Nazi football fans and ultra-Catholic movements. … Another even worse problem could be his views on European integration, common security and Russia, which in some cases are even more radical than those of his mentor Jarosław Kaczyński. ... An ominous scenario awaits if the rocker Pavel Kukiz wins the parliamentary elections. That would create a Viktor Orbán-like mentality to the north of the Tatra Mountains, but four-times bigger and richer and far more ambitious. Looks like we're in for some fun and games."
A new ally for Britain
Britain should take advantage of the fact that Andrzej Duda shares its doubts about the EU, the conservative daily The Times comments: "Mr Duda has already made plain his suspicion about the EU becoming an 'ever deeper union'; he stresses the need to recover more national sovereignty and speaks out on what he calls the 'tendencies to create a hierarchy in the EU'. ... All these aims should be supported by Britain. A common language can be found with a Poland that is worried about the migration of its young people, the brain drain, the exodus from the countryside and the strains on families left behind when breadwinners head for Britain."