Petr Dubinsky

Polish President Andrzej Duda Begins 2nd Term

Polish Conservative President Andrzej Duda, who won the second round of the presidential election last month, was sworn in front of lawmakers today. Duda, a close ally of the ruling National Conservative Party Law and Justice, has taken on a second mandate.

Most opposition lawmakers and some former Polish leaders did not attend the Sejm joint session and the Senate in protest, the AP agency reported. According to the opposition, the elections were not free and fair.

Andrzej Duda narrowly defeated Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski of the Civic Coalition. In the second round of elections on July 12, Duda won 51.03 percent of the vote, Trzaskowski 48.97 percent.

Trzaskowski’s election staff complained about the Polish public television behavior, which, according to him, was preparing election materials for Duda for public money. He also pointed out that the government members were involved in the election campaign in Dud’s favor. This week, however, the Polish Supreme Court confirmed that the presidential election is valid.

In his speech today, Duda said that “democracy is stronger in Poland today than ever before” and promised to work with all political parties and groups. At the same time, he emphasized the critical role of the traditional family in society and the need to protect it.

Duda is known for his conservative views and statements against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.

Some left-wing MEPs today came to the rainbow-colored ceremony and unfurled the rainbow flag, apparently showing their support for the LGBT community. For example, Duda recently said that the movement for the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender people might pose a greater danger than communist ideology.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, strict hygiene rules prevailed at today’s meeting of deputies and senators. Everyone in the Chamber of the Sejm, the lower house of parliament, wore a veil. Many even wore gloves. Several lawmakers have announced in recent days that they have been infected with the coronavirus. Duda took the oath wearing a face mask but removed it to deliver his speech.