Friday, September 30, 2005

Winners and losers

A rock star, a surgeon and Lech Welesa’s son are all new members of the Sejm, the Polish parliament.

The most popular politician in Poland, officially, is leader of Law and Justice, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who received 170,000 votes in Warsaw.

Other politicos with reasons to be cheerful include 30-year-old son of Lech, Jaroslaw Welesa, who will be representing Civic Platform.

Celeb MP’s include the singer of Polish rock dinosaurs, Budka Suflera, Krzysztof Cugowsk, who is representing the very un-rock and roll Law and Justice in the Upper House, the Senate.

Robert Costa enters parliament after a career as a surgeon. Born in Bangladesh he returned to Poland 30 years ago, and is now an MP for the radical farmer’s union, Self Defense (Samoobrona).

But who is the most miserable politician this week?

Well, that honour could go to Jan Maria Rokita, who went to bed the night before the election dreaming of being Prime Minister. But when he went to bed in the early hours of the morning after the election those dreams were in tatters. His Civic Platform failed to become the biggest party in parliament, and he will probably have to settle for the job of Foreign Secretary. But his problems don’t end there. Even in his own constituency of Krakow he lost a considerable amount of votes to the Law and Justice candidate.

One of the biggest shocks of the night last Sunday was that leader of the far-right League of Polish Families, Roman Giertych, failed to get into the Sejm. (correction - see comment)

And former Prime Minister for the ex-communist SLD, Leszek Miller – who resigned the day after Poland joined the EU in May last year, decided not to stand at all for election this time, as it was pretty obvious that he would get virtually any support at all this time round.