Polish voters will elect mayors in hundreds of cities in the second round of elections

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Polish voters will cast their ballots Sunday to elect mayors in hundreds of cities and towns where no candidate won outright in the first round of local elections two weeks ago.

Mayors will be elected in a total of 748 places, including in the cities of Krakow, Poznan, Rzeszow and Wroclaw. These are places where no candidate won at least 50% of the vote during the first round on April 7.

The local and regional elections are seen as a test for Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s pro-European government, four months after it came to power at national level.

Tusk’s party did well in major cities, including Warsaw, where his party’s candidate, Rafał Trzaskowski, was easily re-elected as mayor two weeks ago.

However, Tusk failed to achieve a decisive victory in the overall standings. The main opposition party, Law and Justice, which was in power at the national level from 2015 to 2023, won a higher percentage of votes in provincial parliaments.

Tusk’s social-liberal citizens’ coalition has strong support in the cities, while Law and Justice has a stronger base in conservative rural areas, especially in eastern Poland.

In the election of the provincial assemblies, Law and Justice received 34.3% of the votes nationally and the Civic Coalition of Tusks 30.6%.