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Krakow's political stage.

Politics in Krakow, Poland basically mirrors the nationwide scene. Except the peasant party (PSL), more or less significant countrywide, remains political irrelevance in the city – typically of Poland’s major conurbations. At the same time, Krakow‘s political spectrum has always been noticeably shifted to the right compared with other big cities in Poland.

 

Partisan politics in Krakow.

Most powerful party in Krakow, unlike in entire Poland, is the center-right Civic Platform (Platforma Obywatelska or PO in short), one of the country’s main opposition parties. The nationally ruling right-wing Law and Justice (Prawo i Sprawiedliwosc, usually referred to by acronym PiS) still seems to come close second in the city’s politics. Their rising liberal opponent, called just the Modern (Nowoczesna), has managed to establish a firm foothold in Krakow. Poland’s leftist parties, the self-disowned heirs to the fortunes of the Soviet-era all-powerful Polish United Workers Party (communist), retain minute popularity with the Krakow voters; notably the strongest of them – Alliance of the Democratic Left (Sojusz Lewicy Demokratycznej or SLD).

In the face of fierce rivalry nationwide between the Civic Platform and the PiS, local politicos mostly play party politics in Krakow striving for career in the country’s capital. Nevertheless, when convenient, they can readily strike a bipartisan deal. At the same time, both parties lack strong leaderships in the city and both are prone to debilitating infighting.

His win in Poland's presidential election of 2015 has elevated Krakow politician Andrzej Duda of PiS party, born in 1972, a lawyer and the Jagiellonian University's faculty member, to political stardom countrywide, no matter what pundits may think of his track record in office.

Krakow's mayor oddity.

Seeing that the residents of Krakow vote overwhelmingly for the right and the center-right parties it may come as a surprise that they elected a left-wing mayor for four consecutive terms from 2002 on. Mr Jacek Majchrowski, law professor at the Jagiellonian University, ran as an independent but he has never shunned his ties to the Alliance of the Democratic Left. Still his ‘cohabitation’ with mostly right-wing and right-leaning City Council has gone largely smoothly.

 

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