The Development of the Polish Party System: a Perspective of the Parliamentary Elections Results

Author: Jerzy Jaskiernia
Institution: Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce (Poland)
Year of publication: 2017
Source: Show
Pages: 227-246
DOI Address:
PDF: ppsy/46-2/ppsy2017214.pdf

The author analyses the dynamics of the Polish party system in the light of the outcomes of the parliamentary elections in the Third Republic of Poland (since 1989). He exposes especially the last element of that evolution – the 2015 parliamentary election. It resulted in the victory of Law and Justice (PiS) party. For the first time in the history of democratic Poland, the victor was able to create a government without having to negotiate with coalition partners. The success of PiS seems to be a result of the combination of several factors. It would be mistaken to portray an emerging situation as a simple rightist win. PiS to some extent represents a social attitude, typical for the socialist (social-democratic) parties, with some part of the program including a populist message, but with the combination of a conservative approach to several issues and nationalistic stand on a perception of patriotic mood. The important meaning has a support of PiS by the Catholic Church, especially at the grass-roots level. The victory of PiS and forming of the majority government have an important meaning for the functioning of the political parties’ system in Poland. For the first time since 1989, there were not balancing of power situation which the coalition governments have brought about. The political parties, creating the opposition in parliament, must offer a new strategy of behaviour in such circumstances, especially dealing with challenging the PiS policy to compromise a democratic system based on the 1997 Constitution, e.g. division of power, position of the Constitutional Tribunal and functioning of the judiciary


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