Law and Justice
Law and Justice (Polish: Prawo i Sprawiedliwość [ˈpravɔ i spravjɛˈdlivɔɕt͡ɕ] (listen); PiS) is a right-wing national-conservative political party in Poland. It is a member of the Eurosceptic European Conservatives and Reformists Party at European Union level. With 198 seats in the Polish Sejm and 48 in the Senate, PiS is currently the largest political party in the Polish parliament, and the dominant party of the United Right ruling coalition. The current twenty-five PiS MEPs sit in the European Conservatives and Reformists Group in the European Parliament.
|President of Poland||Andrzej Duda|
|Parliamentary Leader||Ryszard Terlecki|
|Founded||13 June 2001|
|Youth wing||Law and Justice Youth Forum|
|National affiliation||United Right|
|European affiliation||European Conservatives and Reformists Party|
|European Parliament group||European Conservatives and Reformists|
198 / 460
44 / 100
24 / 52
254 / 552
5 / 107
The party was founded in 2001 by the Kaczyński twins, Lech and Jarosław, as a centrist and Christian democratic party. It was formed from part of the Solidarity Electoral Action (AWS), with the Christian democratic Centre Agreement forming the new party's core. The party won the 2005 election, while Lech Kaczyński won the presidency. Law and Justice formed a coalition with the Eurosceptic League of Polish Families (LPR) and Self-Defence of the Republic of Poland (SRP). Jarosław served as Prime Minister, before calling elections in 2007, in which the party came in second to Civic Platform (PO). In these elections, PiS lost most of its moderate electorate but attracted voters from its former coalition members and then turned to nationalism and populism. As a result, LPR and SRP lost all their seats and descended into political irrelevancy. Several leading members, including sitting president Lech Kaczyński, died in a plane crash in 2010.
During its founding the party was dominated by the Kaczyńskis' conservative and law and order agenda. It has embraced economic interventionism while maintaining a cultural and socially conservative stance that moved towards the Catholic Church in 2005; the party's Catholic nationalist wing split off in 2011 to form Solidary Poland but then formed a joint ballot with PiS before the 2015 elections. After gaining power, PiS gained popularity with transfer payments to families with children, but attracted international criticism and domestic protest movements by dismantling liberal-democratic checks and balances. Political scientists have characterised the party's governance as illiberal or authoritarian.