In Poland’s Local Elections, Voters Give Some Hope to Liberals Across Europe

Rafal Trzaskowski, the candidate for mayor of Warsaw from the opposition party Civic Platform, speaks to supporters, Warsaw, Poland, Oct. 21, 2018 (AP photo by Alik Keplicz).
Rafal Trzaskowski, the candidate for mayor of Warsaw from the opposition party Civic Platform, speaks to supporters, Warsaw, Poland, Oct. 21, 2018 (AP photo by Alik Keplicz).

Almost exactly one year ago, Poland’s celebration of its national Independence Day turned into a festival of extremism, filling the streets of Warsaw with throngs of flare-burning demonstrators chanting racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim and homophobic slogans. At the time, I wrote that Poland risked becoming the European capital of xenophobia, unless its government and its people made a deliberate decision to counteract the troubling tolerance for right-wing radicals. Just weeks before this year’s Nov. 11 holiday, Poles voted in regional elections that were the first electoral test for the ruling Law and Justice party, or PiS, in three years. The results […]

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