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Media: Poland's ruling party hired Orban's advisers for election campaign

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk October 20, 2023 11:13 PM 1 min read
Jaroslaw Kaczynski (C), leader of the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS), speaks to supporters as Polish Prime Minister and leading PiS member Mateusz Morawiecki stands behind at the final PiS election rally before parliamentary elections scheduled for Sunday on October 13, 2023 in Sandomierz, Poland. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
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Poland's Law and Justice party, which was the ruling party up until the Oct. 15 elections, had hired Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's advisors to help run their election campaign, Polish media outlet Polityka reported on Oct. 20.

The advisors were brought into the campaign in June "with the full support of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki," Polityka's sources within the party said.

While the advisors were not physically present at meetings, "they had a great influence on how the campaign turned out," Polityka reported.

"They claimed that all we had to do was translate what worked for them into our strategy and we would win," one source told Polityka.

What worked in Hungary, however, didn't necessarily work in Poland. "They did not take into account the specificity of the Polish elections and social moods," the source said.

An example of this is how the Hungarian advisors apparently encouraged the campaign to intensify attacks on Donald Tusk, the leader of the opposition.

They thought this would to increase support for Law and Justice in the same way that Orban's party gained support from attacking George Soros, a liberal Hungarian-American philanthropist and public figure.

However, this only "this mobilized opposition supporters even more," while failing to attract new voters.

The election, which had a record turnout of 74.4%, saw the conservative Law and Justice lose their majority in parliament, despite receiving the highest percentage of votes at 35.4%.

Centrist Civic Coalition received 30.7%, the center-right Third Way received 14.4%, the New Left received 8.6%, and far-right Confederation received 7.2%.

These parties ruled out forming a coalition with Law and Justice, leaving the Civic Coalition, leed by Donald Tusk, to form a new government with the opposition.

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