Poland waits for final election result after ruling party and opposition claim a win

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poles faced a period of political uncertainty Monday after they voted in huge numbers in an election in which opposition parties appeared to gain a combined majority. But the ruling nationalist conservative party won more votes than any single party and said it would try to keep governing.

The state electoral commission hasn’t reported the final results. But polling agency Ipsos released a so-called late poll Monday morning, which combined the results of an exit poll carried out during Sunday’s election and 50% of the votes counted.

The poll results showed the ruling nationalist conservative Law and Justice party with 36.6% of the votes cast, the opposition Civic Coalition, led by Donald Tusk, with 31%, the centrist Third Way coalition with 13.5%, the Left party with 8.6% and the far-right Confederation with 6.4%.

In order for a government to pass laws, it needs at least 231 seats in the 460-lower house of parliament, the Sejm.

The exit poll showed 248 seats, meaning a majority in parliament, going to Civic Coalition, Third Way and the Left together.

According to Ipsos, the ruling Law and Justice party of Jaroslaw Kaczynski appeared to have obtained 198 seats, a sharp fall from the current slim majority it has held for the past eight years. Even with the far-right Confederation party, it would not have a majority.

Still, the party’s campaign manager, Joachim Brudzinski, said Monday morning in an interview on the RMF FM radio broadcaster that his party won and would try to build a government led by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

“No matter how you look at it, we won,” Brudzinski said.

It will fall to President Andrzej Duda, an ally of Law and Justice, to tap a party to try to build a government.

Cezary Tomczyk, vice-chairman of Tusk’s party, said the governing party would do everything to try to maintain power. He called on it to accept the election result saying it was the will of the people to hand over power to the opposition.

“The nation spoke,” Tomczyk said.

The electoral commission said it expected to report the final result by early Tuesday.

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