Poland's election result is a relief for Europe. But don't get complacentby Anne Applebaum / October 19, 2011 / Leave a comment
Published in November 2011 issue of Prospect Magazine
Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who won Poland’s October elections, is the country’s first leader to be re-elected since the end of communism
Although you can’t see me, I’m in the photos published on the morning after the recent Polish election. In most, Donald Tusk, the prime minister, is in the front row, grinning widely. Just behind him, clapping, stands Radek Sikorski, the foreign minister—and my husband. In a few, there is a lock of brunette hair visible beside him. That’s me.
Because of my husband’s job, I always have an insider’s view of Polish politics. But on election night, 9th October, I literally had the perfect view: I could see over the prime minister’s head and into the crowd below, just as Polish television published its exit polls. Civic Platform, the centre-right ruling party, won 39 per cent of the vote; its agrarian coalition partner took 8 per cent. Law and Justice, the populist opposition, got 30 per cent. The crowd went wild—and not just for joy. They were also very surprised.