Shockwaves following the Polish presidential election should not affect country’s business climate, experts have said. In late May, Bronislaw Komorowski, an incumbent president and candidate of Civic Platform, the country’s ruling party, conceded a surprising defeat to Andrzej Duda, a conservative challenger. The defeat came despite Mr Komorowski’s high approval rates, a one-time lead in the presidential preference polls and the fact that Mr Duda, a candidate of Law and Justice, the main opposition party, was virtually unknown until running in the elections.
During his campaign, Mr Duda made a string of anti-market claims, which stood in a stark contrast with Mr Komorowski’s pro-business campaign. Among them, Mr Duda called for stopping pension reform that aimed at raising the retirement age and imposing taxes on banks and hypermarkets.
“Andrzej Duda would like to curb foreign ownership of the banks and follow a less EU-oriented national politics and economy. All these realities about Mr Duda and his ideology potentially harm the investor confidence,” said Cenk Sidar, president and CEO of Sidar Global Associates, a Washington DC-headquartered consultancy.
Yet, according to experts, investors should not fear a tectonic shift in the way they are treated in Poland. “When it comes to economic matters, presidents in Poland do not have rights to do much,” said Andrzej Turkowski, an analyst at Centrum Stosunkow Miedzynarodowych, a Warsaw-based think tank. “The change of the country’s economic policy, if anything, might happen after Poland’s parliamentary election [scheduled for October], but I do not think it is likely to happen,” said Mr Turkowski.
Malgorzata Grzegorczyk, a journalist covering FDI for Puls Biznesu, a local daily business newspaper, is similarly unconcerned about the impact on the country's business environment. “In 2007, the last year when both prime minister and president were from Law and Justice party, Poland actually had a record year when it comes to attracting investments,” she said.
Correction: The previous version of the article contained an error in the standfirst, which mistakenly wrote that Bronislaw Komorowski was the winner. This was corrected 10 June 2015.