Poland in 2023: Elections Offer Chance of a Fresh Start

Yet even if it wanted to cut a deal with the EU, PiS is caught between a rock and hard place with its junior coalition partner, the party of Zbigniew Ziobro. The hardline justice minister won't agree to any compromises with Brussels, but dropping him from the coalition would result in a minority government, which is definitely not an ideal situation in an election year.

So, as the year turns, the governing camp is trudging along pretty much in the same way as it has the whole of last year: making some minor steps towards the EU, but not really enough to satisfy Brussels and free up billions of euros, as that would upset Ziobro.

With less than a year before the general election, the balance of power between the government and the opposition is pretty much the same as it has been in the past too. While PiS's popular support has been somewhat eroded by its years in power since 2015, if looked at in broad brushstrokes, the government and opposition (if the main democratic parties unite) have similar chances of winning the next general election.

The opposition, too, is pretty much where it has been for the past few years. The campaign of the main opposition party, Civic Platform, is being spearheaded by Donald Tusk, a former prime minister and president of the European Council. Tusk is widely seen as a skillful politician, but one who has been around long enough to ensure that many in Poland are either tired of him or actively dislike him. The main parties in the democratic opposition bloc - Civic Platform, the left coalition, the agrarian party and the party of moderate Catholic Szymon Holownia - have for months been debating the same point: whether to run together or separately in the election.

Polish Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro attends...

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