DONALD Trump will be rooting for the incumbent Law and Justice party to reign victorious in next month’s Polish elections, a leading expert has told Redaction Politics.
Lawmakers controversially voted to uphold next month’s election date earlier this week, despite voters being put at risk by the coronavirus pandemic.
Critics have suggested the Law and Justice Party are seeking to take advantage of their recent strong polling performances, instead of facing voters after the pandemic slows.
As one of the only major elections taking place at the moment – both the Bolivian and Serbian elections have been postponed – they are sure to draw huge international attention, including from some powerful figures in the White House and the Kremlin.
Incumbent President Andrzej Duda has toed an anti-Moscow line for the duration of his tenure, according to Aleks Szczerbiak, a Professor of Politics and Contemporary European Studies at the University of Sussex.
He told Redaction Politics: “Law and Justice is very anti-Russian because they are a rival in the region.
“They want to build a bloc of post-communist states to counter Putin, as well as the likes of France and Germany.
“Poland sees itself as a natural competititor with Moscow.”
Duda has attempted to massage Trump’s ego on many occassions, even going so far as wanting to name a new military base ‘Fort Trump’.
The pair share a common nationalist tendency to put ‘their people’ first, and have both implemented a xenophobic immigration policy.
Professor Szczerbiak claims the two both rally against the so-called “liberal global elite”, making them natural allies.
In addition to this, he said, Poland views Washington as its most natural military ally, adding: “The US is the most credible natural security actor.
“Poland looks round the world and sees the US as the most viable – also because of historically good relations.”
Last year the pair signed a defence agreement allowing an increased flow of US troops into Poland.
Duda gushed: “We want to buy more equipment.
“We also aim at cooperation in research and development of military technology, I’m certain that this cooperation between Poland and the USA will flourish.
“I hope that Mr President will decide to send further troops and equipment to Poland.”
The election looks good for Duda’s Law and Justice Party, with recent polls suggesting he could garner almost 50% of the vote in the first round.
However, as last October’s Senate elections showed – when the government lost control of the chamber – Duda will be looking over his shoulder at his more liberal competitors.
Those in NATO and the White House will be watching nervously, knowing May 10 could shift the balance of power in Eastern Europe once again.
Aleks Szczerbiak is a Professor of Politics and Contemporary European Studies at the University of Sussex.
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