There are no Russophiles among Poland's presidential candidates
The first round of the presidential election in Poland did not reveal the winner. The second round will be held on July 12, the current president Andrzej Duda (almost 44% in the first round) and the mayor of Warsaw Rafal Tshaskovsky (about 30%) will take part in it. Elections, regardless of the outcome, have already been called historic.
Firstly, they pass from the second attempt - the first in May failed due to organizational problems in a pandemic.
Secondly, one could vote for the presidential candidate as usual by coming to the polling station, or by mail if the epidemiological security measures taken by the authorities seemed to be insufficient. And in the second round, similarly.
Thirdly, and this is the main thing - Tshaskovsky could simply not exist. Opposition "Civic Platform" at the May presidential election introduced the Deputy Speaker of the Sejm to Malgozhat Kidava-Blonskaya. She led the campaign no matter. The results of the research predicted her results in the region of 5 percent, when the brightest moment of the campaign of Mrs. Kidava-Blonskaya for the presidency occurred - she suddenly turned to her supporters ... to boycott the vote. When it became clear that the chances and ambitions of the Civic Platform can be put to an end with a clear conscience, the elections were postponed until June. And the party brilliantly took advantage of the situation by lawfully exposing a new candidate - Rafal Tshaskovsky, who did not need special promotion and was known as a young, modern and quite suitable for the liberal part of Polish society. This strong move has changed the nature and course of the campaign.
It would seem that the difference in results in the first round leaves no chance for success to the mayor of Warsaw. Still, 14 percent is a serious gap. What is the head of the capital counting on and is there anything to count on? It turns out there is, if we study the administrative and social cards of the distribution of votes. The current president, Andrzej Duda, succeeded in small towns, and middle-aged and elderly people voted for him. While the mayor of Warsaw, Rafal Tzaskowski, the residents of large cities of Poland, young people and some middle-aged Poles want to see the president. If Tshaskovsky manages to win over the votes of the candidates who have withdrawn from the struggle, the task of closing the lag of 14 percent is no longer a daunting task.
In this case, Pan Tshaskovsky is counting heavily on an energetic short-term campaign, which he, apparently, wants to reduce to television debates with Duda. Or at least for one meeting with him on live television. “There are chances to win the election. It’s too early to give up with such a result and it’s worth fighting for victory, ”Tshaskovsky announced, addressing the incumbent with a proposal on television debates in any form. The proposal sounded quite insistent, and observers found an explanation for this, referring to the analytical layout proposed by the influential publication Rzeczpospolita. According to the publication, a uniform anti-campaign was opened against the mayor of Warsaw at some point. In just two weeks, in mid-June, Andrzej Douda devoted 94 positive and some neutral stories to state television. In the same period, Rafal Tshaskovsky won the attention of state television in 67 subjects, of which not a single one could be called positive with all his will. According to media experts, nine of them can be regarded as neutral, and the rest with a negative connotation. It is worth emphasizing - this is not about objectivity, because a negative plot may well be objective, but rather about tendentiousness.
With this in mind, it becomes clear why Tshaskovsky is so persistent in calling on the president to go on television debates. But if Duda does not dare to go to the “battle”, then the situation of the mayor of Warsaw is not hopeless. Effective cooperation with candidates who have left the struggle is by no means an unimaginable process. Moreover, the political views of some of them have something in common with Tshaskovsky’s platform. The question goes into the price. Not in a literal sense, of course.
If Tshaskovsky’s cooperation with former presidential candidates develops, then he can add about 20 percent to his 30 percent of the votes, bypassing Andrzej Dudu with a small margin, who, according to Polish experts, does not have such a resource for the second round. They predict that the incumbent president is likely to gain fewer votes than in the first round because of the banal electoral laziness, which will exceed the result shown in the first round.
The current presidential election in Poland is also significant in that it did not attract much attention from the international community, with the possible exception of Russia. Local media were quite active in covering the Polish electoral process. On the one hand, this seems to be logical - a neighboring country, characterized by unfriendly rhetoric, which is almost the main ally of the United States in the EU and in general on the European continent. On the other hand, in a series of stories on the elections in Poland, Andrzej Duda was positioned as a Russophobe, while his rival Rafal Tshaskovsky, if not a Russophile, was a supporter of improving relations with Russia, as Lech Walesa had recently called for, to power riding a wave of pan-Americanism and Russophobia.
The Polish colleagues, whom I asked the question of how Tshaskovsky can be considered a politician loyal to Russia, learning about how he was characterized by some Russian media, were genuinely surprised. According to them, a picture has developed in which there is no noticeable difference between Duda and Tshaskovsky on the Russian question.
Andrzej Duda nominated by the party Law and Justice. Rafal Tshaskovsky - by the opposition Civil Platform. But the fact is that both parties have a pronounced right wing, and the competition between them is old and intense. With a certain difference in economic issues or, say, traditional values and ultra-liberal trends, they have a similar, if not the same approach to a number of other issues, including the Russian one. During the current election campaign, both Duda and Tshaskovsky as a whole did not pay much attention to foreign affairs - they were far from the main ones, and Russia had almost nothing. Duda’s position, however, is well known - he considers Moscow to be the main threat to Poland. As for Tshaskovsky, when asked by journalists about a possible improvement in relations with Russia, he said that he did not see Russia as a “responsible participant in international relations” and “it is correct that the EU and NATO pursue a tough and principled policy towards Russia, because there’s another there is no way. ”