Ahead of elections in Poland this Sunday, a mock ballot was organised in the eastern town of Wrzesnia. While not everyone took part, it was a chance for a warm up. Confusing some during the campaigning is the fact that there are two elections close together – the general vote on Sunday, followed by a presidential ballot on October 9.
Topping the polls for months, although falling slightly behind for the first time on Weddnesday, is the pro-business Civic Platform. Jan Rokita leads the party for the parliamentary polls, while Donald Tusk is the party’s candidate for president. Both men are pro-European, liberal, pro-reform and in favour of a flat tax.
The tax policy, however, is not supported by Civic Platform’s possible coalition partner, the conservative Law and Justice Party. Adding to the confusion, the two men at the top of this party are identical twins: Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leading the party in the parliamentary polls, and Lech Kaczynski, presidential candidate.
Third place in the opinion polls is the anti-European party Samoobrona, led by the charismatic Andrzej Lepper. Latest polls predict he can expect to get about 11 percent of the vote.
If the polls are correct that would leave the ruling Democratic Left Alliance in fourth place, with 8 percent of the vote, after being hit by a series of corruption scandals. The party’s candidate in the presidential poll, Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz, has announced he is pulling out of the race, in protest at what he calls a dirty campaign by politicians and reporters. He shot to the top of the opinion polls when he announced he was standing in July, but then took a nosedive after allegations that he misstated his personal wealth in a declaration for parliament.The ruling party says it has no clear candidate to run in his place.