The alliance between conservatives and liberals looks quite logical
The Catholic conservative party called Law and Justice won the parliamentary election in Poland last Sunday. Liberal party Civic Platform is a runner-up. Four other parties also won a few seats in the Parliament. The parties are as follows: center-left Union of the Democratic Left; populist Samooborona or Self-Defense; ultraconservative Polish League of Families and the Polish Party of Peasants.
Law and Justice along with Civic Platform will form the new government. The alliance between conservatives and liberals looks quite logical. Over the last four years the two parties have been in opposition to the center-left government composed of the Union of the Democratic Left and the Polish Party of Peasants. However, the parties have different priorities. Civic Platform is a classic liberal, pro-European party that advocates free-market economy. On the contrary, Law and Justice is a party of those whose attitudes toward the EU are quite skeptical, those who support strong social policy.
It was not until the last few days that analysts could say which of the two parties would win the majority of votes. The conservatives broke through as the election campaign was drawing to a close. The leader of the conservatives, Lech Kaczynski, has a reputation of a political hard-liner. He demands Germany should pay compensation for causing damage to Warsaw while quelling the 1944 uprising. He also demands Russia should pay compensation for the Katyn forest massacre. His twin brother Yaroslav has a lot more chances to head the new cabinet than Jan Rokita, one of the leaders of the Civic Platform. Lech Kaczynski is running for president. The election is due in October this year. Should Lech win the election, his brother would step down as the head of the government, at least Lech already said like that. His main competitors will be his partners in the future government, the Civic Platform leader Donald Tusk is one of them.
Present-day Poland has already seen the transition of power before. In 1997 the ruling center-left parties lost the election to the center-right Solidarity and the Union of Freedom. The center-left took revenge four years later, Donald Tusk and the Kaczynski brothers formed the opposition. Meanwhile, all Polish governments have always been EU-oriented in terms of foreign policy. Despite being a relatively Euro-skeptical politician, Jaroslav Kaczynski is unlikely to cause any significant changes of the situation. First, the new government will be formed in coalition with the Civic Platform. Second, any Polish government should take into account such realities as Poland's membership in NATO and EU.
No major changes are expected to affect Russian-Polish relations after the center-right coalition took over the office. The relations between Russia and Poland have significantly deteriorated over the last few months anyway. Both sides fueled the conflict by making comments on historical issues; some Russians were beaten up in Warsaw and some Poles were bruised in Moscow. The Kremlin's major discontent stems from active support Poland gave to Ukraine during the orange revolution. Not unlike the current Polish government and center-left President Alexander Kwasnevski, the new cabinet will object to the construction of North European gas pipeline.
The relations between Poland and Belarus will be more emotionally charged since both winning parties actively support the Belarusian opposition. During the election campaign, the presidential candidate Tusk left his competitors behind by successfully using the issue of Belarus. He pledged support to the opposition activists of the Union of Poles in Belarus.