Now that the government’s power is secured for another three years, the fear that the government will further undermine free speech and independent institutions is not a hostile assumption: it is a promise the government itself repeatedly made over the course of the campaign. The most immediate step will likely be to capture those remaining newspapers and television channels that are free to criticize the government. Since many of them are owed by companies based outside the country, the government has vowed to “re-Polonize the media.”
In the final step towards authoritarianism, Kelemen warns, the government is likely to start attacking the integrity of the electoral system itself. The opportunities to do so are many: Law and Justice could try to get the electoral commission under tight control, make it harder for Poles who live abroad to participate in democratic elections, and take away powers from big city mayors, who tend to belong to the opposition party.
[…] Yesterday’s elections, though no longer fair, were largely free. There is no guarantee that this will still be true when Law and Justice next has to face the electorate.
I seriously doubt that our next elections will be democratic.