Poland’s nationalist Law and Justice party secured a narrow majority in the lower house of parliament in Sunday’s general election, the Electoral Commission said on Monday, citing the final result count.
The Commission said Law and Justice secured 235 seats in the 460-seat legislature.
Law and Justice has governed Poland since 2015 and is popular for its social conservatism and generous social spending. It ran a campaign that highlighted its social programs and vowed to defend traditional Roman Catholic values against an onslaught of gay rights and other liberal ideas from the West.
It has been accused of weakening the rule of law in the young democracy with an overhaul of the judicial system that has given the party more power over the courts, and has drawn criticism as well for using state media as a propaganda outlet and hostile rhetoric toward the LGBT community.
Party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who is considered the real power behind Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s government, declared victory Sunday after an exit poll said the party had won the most votes.
“Despite a powerful front, we managed to win,” he told party supports Sunday as he held high a bouquet of roses.
Civic Platform leader Grzegorz Schetyna said the fight wasn’t fair, an apparent reference to the way Law and Justice harnessed state media to pump out positive coverage of itself while casting a poor light on political rivals.
“This was not an even struggle; there were no rules in this struggle,” Schetyna said. “We do not have a feeling that we were taking part in an honest struggle, that our opponent is using honest methods.”
Critics fear that four more years for Law and Justice will reverse the democratic achievements of this Central European nation, citing the changes to the judiciary and the way the party has marginalized minorities, for instance with its recent campaign depicting the LGBT rights movement as a threat.