IPPF EN strongly welcomes the result of Poland’s parliamentary elections, held on 15 October, in which opposition parties won a greater number of seats than the ultra-conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party. Record turnout saw over 73% of women and 69% of young people cast their ballot, up 12% and 22% respectively compared to Poland’s last parliamentary elections in 2019. Queues at polling booths meant some people waited in line until 3am to vote.
This defeat for PiS after eight years in government is a direct result of the 2020 Women’s Strike protests, when hundreds of thousands of Polish people expressed their outrage at the imposition of a near-total abortion ban, fatally weakening support for PiS’ cruel and anti-democratic regime. Ahead of the elections, Donald Tusk, leader of the Civic Platform opposition party, pledged to legalise abortion care within the first 100 days of government, if elected.
“The high turnout is all the more remarkable given PiS’s ever-increasing control of the media, most of the courts, the police and the military,” said IPPF EN’s Irene Donadio. “The strength of feeling among women and young people in particular is crystal clear. Tusk now has a clear popular mandate to take action on abortion care, and we look forward to seeing the opposition deliver on its promises to restore women’s reproductive rights,” added Donadio.
The election result also confirms the strong commitment of the majority of Polish people to key European values such as democracy and the rule of law. It is extremely positive see Poland realign with the European Union and we look forward to seeing it take its place as a constructive partner alongside other European countries.
“Poland’s change of course sends a much-needed, hopeful signal to all of Europe, and especially to citizens in Central Europe, in these turbulent times,” said Donadio.
Irene Donadio: +32 (0) 491 719 390
Illustration: Izabela Markova, The Greats