Day of voting in Poland. Worried about the future of democracy and the economic crisis linked to the pandemic, the Poles have started this Sunday, June 28, to go to the polls for the first round of a presidential race tight, which is crucial for the populists in power. The outgoing president Andrzej Duda, a 48-year-old, supported by the nationalist government conservative, who is running his second term, is facing up to ten other candidates, but according to surveys, it is the mayor’s liberal Warsaw, Rafal Trzaskowski, the main opposition party, civic Platform (PO), which will be its rival in the second round, the 12 July.

The campaign has been dominated by concerns about the state of democracy and social issues, while Poland is facing its first recession since the end of communism. Voters queue up in polling stations across the country, wearing masks, and respecting the rules of social distancing, according to the journalists of Agence France-Presse and the images published on social networks. “I voted for Trzaskowski of course ! Why ? For democracy, the judiciary, and respect for minorities “, said Joanna Ugniewska, 66, after voting in a polling station in a school in the centre of Warsaw. Irena, a retired 63-year-old from Minsk Mazowiecki to the east of Warsaw, declares itself satisfied with the status quo. “I’d like that to continue “, she said.

A ballot marked by the crisis of the sars coronavirus

According to the Constitution, the Polish president has limited powers, but has, among other things, the right of veto on the proposals of law. The victory Trzaskowski, 48 years old, would be a blow to the government’s Law and Justice party (PiS), the origin of a series of reforms controversial, particularly in the area of justice. According to the PiS, these changes were necessary to eliminate the corruption among the judges, but the opposition and the european partners criticized these reforms, claiming that they erode democracy, three decades later after the fall of communism.

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The us president Donald Trump, who considers the administration of the PiS as an ally of the european key, has given, as to him, his blessing to Andrzej Duda this week. The visit of the head of the Polish State at the White House was the first of a foreign leader in the United States since the beginning of the pandemic, only four days before the election day.

The ballot is strongly marked by the crisis of the coronavirus, which has forced the authorities to postpone it from may to June. A new hybrid system of postal ballot and conventional has also been put in place to prevent new infections. The official data reported more than 33,000 cases of infection and more than 1 400 deaths, but the minister of Health has admitted that there could be up to 1.6 million undetected cases in Poland, a country of 38 million inhabitants.

The fear of a recession

Andrzej Duda promised to the Polish people to defend a series of benefits thrown by the ruling party, including family allowances and pensions uprated. The Poles also fear a first recession since the end of communism, caused by the pandemic Covid-19. Duda has played the card of the rhetoric of antigay to seduce far-right voters, according to analysts.

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campaigning under the slogan ” We are enough “, the main rival of the incumbent president, Rafal Trzaskowski, has promised to repair ties with Brussels. Since taking power in 2015, Duda and the PiS have shattered the Polish political stoking tensions with the EU. A survey of exit polls are expected immediately after the voting stations close at 21 hours local time.

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