New York Times, By Rick Lyman, October 25
Warsaw — Poland’s chief right-wing opposition party, out of power for nearly a decade, came roaring back in parliamentary voting Sunday, apparently seizing control of the government with a platform that mixes calls for higher wages with appeals to traditional Catholic values.
Private exit polls, released immediately after voting ended Sunday evening, showed the party, Law and Justice, drawing 39.1 percent of the vote, trouncing Civic Platform, the center-right party that has led Poland since 2007, which got 23.4 percent.
Law and Justice immediately declared victory and Civic Platform conceded defeat, although the final results will not be made official until Tuesday.
“Polish life can be different,” said Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of Law and Justice. “We can be proud of it. We will never have to be ashamed of ourselves, as we did many times in the past, through no fault of ours.”
In an especially telling result, highlighting how Poland was joining many regional neighbors in a shift to the right, none of the country’s left-wing or social democratic parties appeared to have qualified for seats in Parliament for the first time in Poland’s post-communist history.