Zdzisław Pupa, a member of Poland’s largest opposition party Law and Justice, has been elected senator in a by-election to the Senate (Poland’s upper house of parliament) in the southeastern Podkarpackie voivodship. Mr Pupa received 60.84 percent of the vote.
The election was carried out in five counties of the Podkarpackie voivodship. Turnout was less than 16 percent.
Mr Pupa received nearly three times as many votes as the Polish People’s Party (PSL) candidate Mariusz Kawa (21.3 percent). An MP from minority party Solidarna Polska, Kazi-mierz Ziobro came in third with 11 percent of the vote.
Mr Pupa told Polish Radio that his party is ready to take over power in the entire country from the governing coalition.
“It is clear that the support for PiS is growing, which means that society is ready for a change. It has had enough of the incompetent and arrogant rule of the ruling coalition,” leader of the PiS parliamentary caucus Mariusz Błaszczak told Gazeta Wyborcza.
“The result for the ruling coalition is indeed far from ideal, but it was to be expected. Podkarpackie is after all PiS’s bastion,” the government’s spokesperson Paweł Graś said, commenting on the results.
The main opposition party has always had strong support from the voters in the southeastern voivodship. In the 2010 presidential election, PiS candidate Jarosław Kaczyński received 54.92 percent of the vote. Meanwhile, the eventual winner, Bronisław Komorowski, who is associated with the ruling Civic Platform (PO) party, received just 25.9 percent of the vote in the Podkarpackie voivodship.
The by-election was precipitated by the former senator Władysław Ortyl (of PiS) taking over the position of marshall of the voivodship. Mr Ortyl stepped in for Mirosław Karapyta, a PSL member, who had been dismissed following corruption charges.
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