Who is Andrzej Duda?

Andrzej Duda wins Polish presidency beating incumbent Bronislaw Komotrowski.

Questions:

1. Who is Andrzej Duda? How would you describe him?

2. What does Duda’s victory mean for Poland, what will he change or will try to change (for better or worse)?

Answers:

Konrad Hyży, Senior Analyst at Demagog.org.pl

1. Andrzej Duda is one of the most loyal members of PiS. He started his political career when he got hired by Zbigniew Ziobro (Minister of Justice in Law and Justice’s government). Then he became one of the closest advisors of president Lech Kaczynski. In 2011 he became a MP and in 2014 he got elected to the European Parliament.
Duda has an academic career- he obtained a PhD diploma in Law at Jagiellonian University in Krakow. He attempted to run for the Krakow mayor, but failed (2010).
Regarding his political views, he always underlines the importance of the Lech Kaczynski’s legacy, especially in the international relations. As per the internal politics, he is rather conservative but also represents a new value of openess and modern approach to a civil society. Duda often talks about the importance of community and the weight of the ‘national cause’.

Making long story short, Andrzej Duda is a well-educated and fresh player on the political scene.

2. Andrzej Duda’s victory was backed by the hordes of unsatisfied Poles who have had enough of the Civic Platform style of governance. It is not thanks to his rethorical skills, but rather to the PO’s separation from the problems of the society that Duda got the post last night. His postulates appear to be based on the sense of community and solidarity, which means he address his speeches to the people who are, roughly speaking, not happy with the current economical situation.

As for the changes that can be imposed by Duda, I would not count for a big ones. It would be rather a slow turn back to Lech Kaczynski’s international politics (surprisingly well determined by Tusk in his last months of being at PM’s post). Duda appeals to Orban’s style of ruling the country, however it is obvious it is not going to happen in more EU-centered Poland. We can predict that the alliance with the USA and the EU will be upholded with probably few diplomatic gestures which would prove that Duda is playing his independent game. He will probably follow Komorowski’s stance towards Ukraine and Russia, perhaps with certain small adjustments.

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