Witold Waszczykowski, MEP and former minister of Foreign Affairs, came out in support of sitting president, Andrzej Duda. He believes that winning in the first round is the best way to cut short any speculation of which opposition candidate may have the best chance to unseat the incumbent.
According to Waszczykowski, Duda enjoys high favorability ratings at home among Polish voters who appreciate his success in foreign and defense policy issues. “These are all good instruments that should help him to win the election in the first round of voting,” he said.
Waszczykowski was dismissive of Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz’s (leader of the Polish People’s Party) announcment that he plans to run for president. “If anyone announces they are running but says they will withdraw for a worthier candidate, then he is not being serious.
“I heard over the weekend that eight percent can go to people’s heads,” quipped the former minister. He was alluding to the eight percent that Kosiniak-Kamysz’s party, PSL, won in the parliamentary elections in October.
Poland’s former foreign policy chief did not think that Donald Tusk’s likely succession to be head of the European People’s Party (EPP) was anything to write home about. All it would do is allow Tusk to continue to mix in European politics, he said.
He said Tusk was not so popular in Poland. “He’s a politician with a huge ‘negative’ electorate. Poles did not take well the fact that he dumped his own country for a career in the EU. He just deserted his post,” argued Waszczykowski.