Polish government headed for defeat

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The Polish prime minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, tonight faces defeat following snap parliamentary elections. Exit polls indicate that the right wing, homophobic Law and Justice (PiS) party looks set to lose power following official declarations likely to be held on Tuesday.

Exit polls for the TVN24 news channel indicate that the Civil Platform party (PO) won 44 per cent of the popular vote with the Law and Justice Party taking just 31 per cent.

The left-wing LiD is on course to win 12 per cent of the vote, with the Polish Peasants’ Party (PSL) taking just under 8 per cent.

The election was called two years early following the collapse of Mr Kaczynski’s coalition over a corruption probe. Subsequently, turnout at 55.3 per cent was considerably higher than the 12-year low recorded in 2005.

The prime minister’s twin brother, Lech Kaczynski, is the country’s right wing, anti-gay President. He will remain in office until 2009.

Despite their reputation for homophobia (Lech banned gay pride marches while Mayor of Warsaw), Jaroslaw last year stunned journalists at a European summit saying: “What you have in Poland is gay clubs, gay literature, gay press and this is functioning normally.

“There is no limitation on political promotion either. In Poland, there are homosexuals who take very high [ political] positions.”

Hower, Human Rights Watch have in the past criticised the prime minister, saying they are: “deeply concerned that government statements and policies against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in Poland directly violate international standards.”