Poland’s ruling party keeps lower house, loses upper chamber

Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party has held onto a majority in the lower chamber of Parliament, but lost the senate, election results showed Monday.

Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski speaks to supporters on election night in Warsaw, Poland, Sunday. Photo by Radek Pietruszka

The party won 43 percent of the vote Sunday. As a result, party leader and Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski will retain his post.

The Law and Justice Party, or PiS, will have 239 seats in the more powerful lower house, called the Sejm — eight more than are necessary for a majority and four more than it had four years ago.

“We have reason to be happy,” Kaczynski said.

The party now holds just 49 out of 100 seats in the upper house, the senate, however — compared to 51 for opposition parties.

Final seat counts are pending.

It’s expected the Law and Justice Party will be able to form a coalition government.

The PiS has ruled Poland’s upper and lower chambers since 2015 and was able to overhaul the court system, at times putting itself at odds with the EU.

“There was a hope that [Law and Justice] would lose, but that has not materialized,” said Piotr Buras, director of the Warsaw office of the European Council on Foreign Relations think tank. “This is not just an issue for Brussels, but for several European capitals — they will have to deal with an emboldened partner.”

ByNicholas Sakelaris