Despite the emollient tone adopted by Kinga Duda – daughter of the Polish president – on the night of the second round of the presidential election, international observers from the election quality monitor OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) excoriated the president and said: “As in the first round, the incumbent’s campaign and coverage by the public broadcaster were marked by homophobic, xenophobic and anti-Semitic rhetoric.”
Andrzej Duda’s second five-year term as the president looks certain to intensify Poland’s standoff with Brussels, as the conservative’s allies in the ruling right-wing nationalist and populist Law and Justice (PiS) party pursue changes to the judiciary, media and other areas that the European Commission says subvert democratic norms.
Expected to rubber-stamp all of PiS’s bills, Duda squeaked past his Europhile rival, the liberal Warsaw Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski, to win re-election by 51.2 percent to 48.8 percent, after a vitriolic campaign laced with homophobic language and accusations that Trzaskowski would sell out Polish families to “Jewish demands.”
The Warsaw-based OSCE ODIHR provides support, assistance and expertise to participating States and civil society to promote democracy, rule of law, human rights and tolerance and non-discrimination. ODIHR observes elections, reviews legislation and advises governments on how to develop and sustain democratic institutions. The Office conducts training programs for government and law-enforcement officials and non-governmental organizations on how to uphold, promote and monitor human rights.