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Polish ruling populists take most seats in regional councils

By The News · 25 of October 2018 09:00:51
The leader of Poland's ruling right-wing party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, casts his ballot in local elections that were the test of support for the party, whose policies have produced street protests and repeated clashes with European Union leaders,in Warsaw, Poland, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018.(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski), No available, The leader of Poland's ruling right-wing party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, casts his ballot in local elections that were the test of support for the party, whose policies have produced street protests and repeated clashes with European Union leaders,in Warsaw, Poland, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018.(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s electoral commission says the ruling populist party, Law and Justice, has won 254 seats in regional councils in local elections last weekend, with 194 going to the key opposition coalition.

The official results announced Thursday indicate that Law and Justice, which won national elections in 2015, remains the most popular party despite conflicts with the European Union and accusations of eroding the democratic system of checks and balances, boosted by generous welfare spending and a booming economy.

However, the pro-EU opposition coalition, a block led by Civic Platform that also includes the smaller Modern party, won much greater support in the cities. It won mayoral posts in Warsaw and some other cities in Sunday’s first round of voting and is leading in Nov. 4 runoffs.