Polish ruling party chief puts best face on election results

People vote during the second round of the local elections at a polling station in Lomianki, Poland, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018. Poles are voting in local runoff elections to choose the mayors of several key cities, including Krakow and Gdansk, and more than 640 other towns and smaller localities. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The leader of Poland’s populist ruling party on Tuesday hailed its showing in local elections as an “all-out victory” despite the party’s failure to win mayoral races in any of Poland’s large cities.

In an apparent face-saving measure, Jaroslaw Kaczynski said “our victory is not subject to the slightest doubt” and called the results a good sign for his Law and Justice party in next year’s parliamentary elections.

Party officials presented charts to reporters to show Law and Justice victories in country and local councils.

He was speaking following the vote that ended Sunday in some cities and smaller municipalities. The conservative ruling party won the most seats in regional assemblies but performed poorly in mayoral races, winning no big cities and only a handful of smaller ones.

Kaczynski contested the opinions of some commentators who say that the failure in the cities should sound a warning for the party, which won power in 2015.

“This election brought another victory for Law and Justice and it makes a very good prognosis for the parliamentary elections,” Kaczynski said.

Poles will elect representatives to the European Parliament in May and to the national parliament in the fall, and will then pick a president in 2020.

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