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The Latest: Tusk Says Polish Democracy Is Strong

The Latest: Tusk Says Polish Democracy Is Strong

Sunday, 13 October 2019 08:38 AM

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The Latest on Poland's parliamentary election (all times local):

2:10 p.m.

European Union chief Donald Tusk says regardless of political tensions in his native Poland the nation's democracy is "very strong and stable."

A former Polish prime minister, Tusk voted in the country's parliamentary election Sunday in his northern hometown of Sopot.

The ruling populist Law and Justice party was favored to win, buoyed by the popularity of its conservative agenda and generous social spending. It has clashed with the EU over rule of law issues and has tried to discredit its opponents, including the pro-EU Civic Coalition that Tusk is linked with.

Tusk says "it's important that the winner does not try to destroy its opponents, but understood that after a win all political forces need to live side by side."

He hopes the election turnout will be above 50%.

8 a.m.

Poles are voting in a parliamentary election that the ruling nationalist Law and Justice party was favored to win, buoyed by the popularity of its conservative agenda and generous social spending.

Concerns about democracy have made Sunday's vote this one of the country's most momentous elections since the fall of communism 30 years ago. Critics fear Poland's illiberal turn could become irreversible if the party wins another four-year term.

More than 30 million voters were choosing lawmakers in the 460-seat lower house of parliament, the Sejm, and in the 100-seat Senate.

Law and Justice is the first party since the fall of communism to break with the austerity of previous governments. Its popular programs include one that gives 500 zlotys ($125) to families per month per child.

Law and Justice is hoping to win a majority of seats Sunday but possible coalition partners, if it needs any, could include two small parties, the conservative agrarian Polish People's Party and Confederation, a far-right group that is openly anti-Semitic and depicts gay people as pedophiles.

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The Latest on Poland's parliamentary election (all times local):2:10 p.m.European Union chief Donald Tusk says regardless of political tensions in his native Poland the nation's democracy is "very strong and stable."A former Polish prime minister, Tusk voted in the...
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Sunday, 13 October 2019 08:38 AM
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