WARSAW, Poland — Polish opposition leader Donald Tusk declared the beginning of a new era for his country after opposition parties appeared to have won enough votes in Sunday's parliamentary election to oust the governing nationalist conservative party.
That party, Law and Justice, has bickered with allies and faced accusations of eroding rule of law at home in its eight years in power. It appeared that voters were mobilized like never before, voting in even greater numbers than when the nation ousted the communist authorities in 1989. Exit poll results pegged it at a record 72.9%. In some places people were still in line when polling officially closed, but all were allowed to vote.
At stake in the election were the health of the nation's constitutional order, its legal stance on LGBTQ+ rights and abortion [Poland has a near-total ban on abortion], and the foreign alliances of a country that has been a crucial ally to Ukraine after Russia launched its full-scale invasion.