Reelected after a close ballot on July 12, 2020, the head of state chose to devote the first moments of his second term to the Marian shrine of Czestochowa, the Polish Lourdes. A result which should not make us forget that the country remains crossed by the temptation towards secularization, in particular in the cities and among young people.
“We thank you for his presence here at Jasna Góra. We thank you for his witness of faith. On the threshold of the second term, we are giving him into Your hands, Mary, and all the matters of our homeland, believing that You will always be present with him.”
The emotion is palpable in the voice of Fr. Waldemar Pastusiak, Rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa. And for good reason, after he has just been re-elected, on July 12, 2020, in the second round of the presidential election, the Polish Head of State Andrzej Duda wanted to spend the first minutes of his new mandate at the feet of the Black Madonna so dear to Polish Catholics.
The Auxiliary Bishop of Częstochowa, Msgr. Andrzej Przybylski, also spoke, welcoming the result of the election: “God bless our beloved homeland, Poland, all Poles. Bless the president of the most glorious Republic in this new stage of his national service.”
On July 13, the day after an election marked by a very high turnout, the Election Commission announced 51.21% of the vote in favor of Andrzej Duda, against 48.79% for his rival. At 48, the outgoing president—from the national-conservative Law and Justice party (PiS)—is therefore given a second term.
Western media often portray Duda, 48, as the candidate for the Catholic Church. Recall that on June 10, in a strong gesture, the president signed a “Family Charter” opposing same-sex marriage and the adoption that would result from it, committing to “protect the children from the LGBT ideology.”
But the re-election of Andrzej Duda shows all the contrast of a Polish society, far from being immune to the virus of secularization: 64.4% of 18-29 year olds voted for the liberal candidate Rafal Trzaskowski, when 61.7% of those over 60 voted for the outgoing president.
Likewise, 66.5% of cities voted for the opponent of Andrzej Duda, while 63.2% of the countryside chose the latter.
Persuading cities and young people that Poland's future cannot be built elsewhere than on the basis of its traditional values is the gamble of a re-elected president who knows he is playing against the clock: in three years, the country will be the scene of general legislative elections which will serve as a test.