WARSAW, July 12 (Reuters) – Polish presidential candidates, incumbent Conservative Andrzej Duda and liberal Warsaw mayor Rafal Trzaskowski, have very different views on politics.
Here are their main positions on key issues. A president can veto legislation and propose laws, but has limited executive power in Poland.
LGBT rights have been at the forefront of the campaign. Duda, an ally of the ruling Nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party says he wants to defend the traditional family and what he sees as Catholic values by amending the constitution to prevent same-sex couples from adopting children and banning the teaching of LGBT issues in schools.
Trzaskowski, also a Catholic, said he supports civil partnerships for LGBT people and LGBT rights in general. However, he is against adoption by LGBT couples.
Trzaskowski wants to restore public funding for in vitro fertilization that was interrupted under PiS.
Duda promotes large infrastructure investments by the central government.
Trzaskowski has said he will leave many major investment decisions to local authorities, which he says have been deprived of influence since the PiS came to power. He wants to delay large PiS projects such as a canal across the Vistula Isthmus until Poland recovers from the coronavirus impacting the economy.
Both wish to maintain the government’s flagship child grant program.
Duda pledged to keep Polish public television – which supported his campaign – as it is. He has attempted to portray some foreign media, especially those owned by Germans, as determined to discredit him and the ruling party.
Trzaskowski said he would get rid of public broadcaster TVP’s flagship news program and dismantle and rebuild public television to make it less politicized.
RULE OF LAW
Duda wants to deepen the government’s justice reforms which the European Union says politicizes the courts and undermines democratic standards. Trzaskowski pledges to veto any new legislation that overthrows them.
DEFENSE AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Duda secured a commitment from the United States to send more American troops to Poland as part of efforts to deter Russia.
Trzaskowski said the military needs continuous modernization and has fallen into disuse under PiS.
In foreign policy, Duda has focused on bilateral relations with Washington, while Trzaskowski wants to repair relations with Brussels.
Duda supported the government’s decision to be the only EU country not to adhere to climate neutrality by 2050 and urged investments in “clean coal” in a bid to defend the coal industry.
Trzaskowski says Poland needs to switch from coal to renewables. (Reporting by Joanna Plucinska and Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk Editing by Frances Kerry)