Local elections in Poland: Law and Justice lost in every major city
According to official results of the second round of local elections, mayor of Gdańsk Paweł Adamowicz, mayor of Kraków Jacek Majchrowski, mayor of Szczecin Piotr Krzystek, as well as mayor of Olsztyn Piotr Grzymowicz have all been re-elected for another term. The city of Kielce, however, has chosen a new mayor - Bogdan Wenta.
The second round of local elections was held in Poland on Sunday. The run-offs were held in constituencies in which none of the candidates gathered the absolute majority of votes (over 50 percent) in the first round two weeks ago. The mayors of communes, counties and cities have been chosen in 649 places all over Poland.
The most highlighted battles were held in Gdańsk and Kraków, but also in three other voivodeship cities of Szczecin, Kielce and Olsztyn. By comparison, in 2014 local elections, there were run-offs in mayoral races in 11 voivodeship cities.
The National Electoral Commission announced on Monday that Poles chose in Sunday's second round of elections, 341 mayors of communes, 264 county mayors and 44 city mayors who will assume offices in 649 communes and cities. The nationwide turnout was 48,83 percent.
Gdańsk (Pomeranian Voivodeship)
Official results only confirmed that in the northern city of Gdańsk, the incumbent mayor Paweł Adamowicz has won the election and it will be his sixth term in office. Adamowicz, was chosen mayor for the first time in 1998. This year he received 64,8 percent of votes, while his opponent Kacper Płażyński, backed by Law and Justice - 35,2 percent, according to official result of the vote.
The city is considered by many as a bastion of Civic Platform and yet the candidate of the largest oppostion party didn't even make it to the second round. Jarosław Wałęsa, a son of the former Polish President and Noble Prize laureate Lech Wałęsa, received 28,7 percent which was the third result in the city.
The turnout in the second round of elections in Gdańsk amounted to 57,74 percent.
Adamowicz thanked members of his committee, his family, volunteers, the deputy Speaker of the Senate Bogdan Borusewicz, Aleksander Hall, as well as the President of the European Council Donald Tusk.
He also thanked for the rivalry to his opponent backed by the United Right coalition, Kacper Płażyński. "I hope that we will be able to implement those ideas on which we agree at the sessions of the City Council. I have great respect for you and want you to know it," said Adamowicz.
"Together with my colleagues, we will do all it takes during the next five years, to prove to you all that I'm a mayor of all citizens of Gdańsk, with no exceptions. Today, Gdańsk made its choice for the second time, and yet again people vowed that they want Gdańsk to be the city of freedom, equality and solidarity - an open Gdańsk," added Adamowicz.
Kraków (Lesser Poland Voivodeship)
The capital of the Lesser Poland voivodeship, the city of Kraków, will be run for yet another term by the incumbent mayor Jacek Majchrowski. The non-partisan candidate was chosen mayor for the first time in 2002, and thus it will be his fifth consecutive term, as the offical results indicate.
Jacek Majchrowski received 61,94 percent of votes, whereas his rival from Law and Justice Małgorzata Wassermann - 38,06 percent, official count shows.
In Kraków's run-off, the turnout amounted to 55,27 percent.
"I'd like to thank all of you who took part in the vote because, as you all surely recall, we had this sort of a competition between the cities, which one would have the highest turnout. Especially, that so much was at stake, in my opinion. And that's what happened," said Mr Majchrowski after the exit polls were annouced.
The sitting mayor of Kraków also thanked the volunteers who helped at his electoral committee. "Despite your opinions about the campaign being rather sluggish, we've put very much effort into it and they (volunteers) have spent lots of time at it. I want to sincerily thank all who have contributed to this victory, as there were so many people," said Majchrowski.
He promised that he will continue to fulfil his mayoral duties with dignity.
Kielce (Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship)
Official results show that in Kielce, the capital city of Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, Bogdan Wenta will be the new mayor after getting 61,25 percent votes, according to exit polls. His rival, Wojciech Lubawski got 38,75 percent of votes.
In Kielce, 52,37 percent of those eligible for voting cast their ballots on Sunday.
Bogdan Wenta expressed his gratitude to all citizens of Kielce who participated in the local elections. "The programme I have presented, together with my team who are all present here today, I want to consequently put it in life and I believe that through hard work we will convince also those who may be are still uncertain today, so that tomorrow they will trust us," said Wenta.
"I want to reassure that we will include some ideas proposed by my opponents," he added.
Wenta also thanked all of his rivals. "We are united in what's best for this city," he said.
Szczecin (West Pomeranian Voivodeship)
Piotr Krzystek has won his fourth term as the mayor of Szczecin after 78,22 percent of voters ticked the box with his name on the ballot on Sunday. His rival in the run-off, Bartłomiej Sochański from Law and Justice got 21,78 percent of votes.
The turnout in the second round in Szczecin was 43,17 percent.
"We are very satisfied with th high turnout and the result," Piotr Krzystek told the journalists on Monday. "Over 100,000 votes cast on me is a really big credit of trust on the part of all those who took part in the vote. And for that I want to thank them. We will do all it takes not to fail the trust put in us and the chance we're given for the coming years," he declared.
Krzystek also thanked his rival Bartłomiej Sochański for a peaceful and pointed discussion before the second round.
"We will also be discussing the programmes of Civic Coalition and Law and Justice, trying to include in the budget as many elements from them as possible, because clearly they are what the people of Szczecin want," said the mayor.
Olsztyn (Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship)
Incumbent mayor of Olsztyn, Piotr Grzymowicz will keep his office for another term after 54,47 percent of voters backed him in the electoral run-off on Sunday. His rival, Czesław Małkowski got 45,53 percent of votes.
The turnout in Olsztyn was 49,26 percent.
Grzymowicz said on Monday in an interview for Radio Olsztyn that "he wants to continue expanding the city's potential, as it is essential not to give up in operations aimed at improving the quality of life".
"I'm certain that with a plan and strategy we will be able to implement them," said Grzymowicz. He admitted that Civic Platform will be his "natural coalition partner" in the city hall, as they have been in coalition by far.
Both Grzymowicz and the head of the regional Civic Platform branch, Jacek Protas, annouced before the second round that in case of Grzymowicz's re-election, they would seek coalition again.
When it comes to the 16 voivodeship cities (capital cities of each voivodeship), 11 mayors were elected already in the first round.
Warsaw (Masovian Voivodeship)
In the capital city of Poland, the prestigious mayoral race has been won by Rafał Trzaskowski, Civic Coalition's candidate who got more votes in the first round than the thirteen of his rivals altogether. After taking 56,67 of all votes, he has replaced Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz as the Mayor of Warsaw. Trzaskowski's main rival, Patryk Jaki backed by the United Right coalition, got 28,53 percent of votes.
Łódź (Łódź Voivodeship)
In Poland's third city, Łódź, the incumbent Hanna Zdanowska backed by the Civic Coalition won in the first round after receiving an overwhelming support of 70,22 percent. Her main rival, Law and Justice's candidate Waldemar Buda got 23,65 percent.
Białystok (Podlaskie Voivodeship)
The incumbent mayor and Civic Coalition's candidate Tadeusz Truskolaski has won in the first round with 56,21 percent of votes. Law and Justice's candidate, Jacek Żalek came second with 30,21 percent.
Lublin (Lublin Voivodeship)
Krzysztof Żuk has secured his third term as the mayor of Lublin in the first round after 62,32 percent of voters cast their votes on him. Law and Justice's Sylwester Tułajew got the second result of 31,48 percent.
Rzeszów (Subcarpathian Voivodeship)
Mayor of Rzeszów, Tadeusz Ferenc has won his fifth term in a row with 63,76 percent of voters backing him in the first round of local elections. Runner-up Wojciech Buczak from Law and Justice got 28,86 percent of votes.
Katowice (Silesian Voivodeship)
Marcin Krupa has been re-elected as mayor of Katowice in the first round with 55,41 percent of votes cast on him. He ran as an independent candidate, but he's the only mayor of a big city that has the support of the ruling Law and Justice. Civic Coalition's candidate Jarosław Makowski came second with 24,11 percent.
Opole (Opole Voivodeship)
A non-partisan candidate Arkadiusz Wiśniewski has defeated his rivals from the two biggest coalitions after getting 70,35 percent of votes in the first round. Law and Justice's Violetta Porowska got 11,56 percent, whereas Civic Coalition's Barbara Kamińska - 10,82 percent.
Wrocław (Lower Silesian Voivodeship)
Jacek Sutryk has become the new mayor of Wrocław already after the first round as he had won 50,2 percent of votes. His top rival, Mirosława Stachowiak Różecka from Law and Justice's list was second with 27,5 percent.
Zielona Góra (Lubusz Voivodeship)
Incumbent mayor of Zielona Góra, Janusz Kubicki has won re-election in the first round after receiving 58,2 percent of votes. Law and Justice's Piotr Barczak was second with 17,92 percent.
Poznań (Greater Poland Voivodeship)
Jacek Jaśkowiak has won the mayoral race in Poznań for the second time in a row. He received 55,99 percent of votes already in the first round. Tadeusz Zysk from Law and Justice got 21,31 percent which gave him the second place.
Bydgoszcz (Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship)
Civic Coalition's Rafał Bruski will be the mayor of Bydgoszcz for the third time in a row as 54,64 percent of voters have chosen him in the first round. Tomasz Latos from Law and Justice was the runner-up with 29,6 percent of votes.