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Poland's right-wing Law and Justice Party wins in European Parliament elections

By Ed Adamczyk
Poland's right-wing Law and Justice Party wins in European Parliament elections
Jaroslav Kaczynski (R) accepts congratulations at a victory rally Sunday in Warsaw after his Law and Justice party defeated the opposition in Poland's European Parliament elections. Photo by Jakub Kaminski/EPA-EFE

May 27 (UPI) -- Poland's ruling Law and Justice Party won surprisingly strong backing in the European Parliament elections, with a majority announced Monday.

Candidates of the far-right party, known as PiS, received 46.01 percent of the vote, compared with 37.87 percent for the five-party opposition European Coalition of parties and 6.02 percent for the left-wing Wiosna, or Springtime, Party. PiS won 27 seats in the country's European Parliament delegation, compared to 22 for the European Coalition and three for Wiosna. The results were better for PiS than those announced from exit polls.

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It indicates that Poland's representatives to the European Parliament include Europe's highest proportion, 53 percent, of Euroskeptics, or those critical of the European Union and European integration. The vote also demonstrates Poland's political polarization, and reinforces the power of PiS leader Jaroslaw Kactynski as Poland prepares for September national and regional elections.

"Today is a very important day," Kaczynski told cheering supporters at a victory rally Sunday in Warsaw. "We have to remember that the decisive battle for the future of our country will take place this autumn and we also have to win, and win by even more than now."

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