Polish PM Tusk loses bellwether regional election

WARSAW Mon Jul 8, 2013 6:25am EDT

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk waits at the start of the conference of European leaders on the fight against mass youth unemployment in Europe, July 3, 2013 at the Chancellery in Berlin. REUTERS/Johannes Eisele/Pool

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk waits at the start of the conference of European leaders on the fight against mass youth unemployment in Europe, July 3, 2013 at the Chancellery in Berlin.

Credit: Reuters/Johannes Eisele/Pool

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WARSAW (Reuters) - The party of Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk lost an election for mayor of a provincial city that had been one of his strongholds, a sign of the toll the economic slump is taking on the government's popularity.

The city of Elblag, near Poland's Baltic Sea coast, has a population of only 124,000, but it took on nationwide significance after Tusk traveled there several times to campaign for his party's candidate.

Jerzy Wilk, of the conservative opposition party Law and Justice, won Sunday's election with 52 percent of the vote, against 48 percent for the candidate from Tusk's Civic Platform party, official results showed. Civic Platform had previously held the mayor's office.

"This is a signal that we can win in the country," said Adam Hoffman, a member of parliament with Law and Justice.

Polish voters will decide whether to keep Tusk's government when the next parliamentary election takes place in 2015. He has overseen a period of political stability, and investors worry the next government could be more volatile.

A survey last month by pollster CBOS showed national support for Civic Platform at 23 percent against 26 percent for Law and Justice.

(Additional reporting by Karolina Slowikowska; Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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Comments (3)
Motorniczy wrote:
I think voters are tired with Civic Platform (PO), so it is very likely that PO will lose next election. Still, I am not sure that Law and Justice (PiS) will govern, maybe there will be a coalition of PO and other parties. We will see.

Jul 08, 2013 7:36am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Radek.kow1 wrote:
Down with his stupid government! It’s about the time

Jul 08, 2013 7:45am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Erikkc wrote:
2015 is a long way away. Remember what was on the whiteboard in the War Room. “It’s the economy stupid!”

Jul 08, 2013 7:57am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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