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Polish ultranationalists set for kingmaker role

Law and Justice set to fall short of a governing majority

13 October, 23:52

(ANSA-AFP) - WARSAW, OCT 13 - The Polish ultra-nationalist Confederation party is polling at no more than 10 percent but may soon play the role of kingmaker -- and get a say on Warsaw policy on already strained ties with Ukraine. The far-right party held one of its final pre-election rallies in Lublin -- a city in eastern Poland that is home to at least 60,000 Ukrainians -- where it sought to win support by pledging a veto on sending aid to its war-torn neighbour. Many of the participants were already convinced that the help flowing from Warsaw to Kyiv is too generous. "Too many weapons, too much money went to Ukraine... Putting Ukraine above Poland is unacceptable to me," Igor Malinowski, a student from Lublin, told AFP. As he waited in Lublin's central square to hear the Confederation leaders speak, the 18-year-old added that he did support helping Ukrainian refugees. "These people need help.
    They have nowhere to go. I have friends from Ukraine. I know what they are going through," Malinowski said. The populists of the ruling right-wing Law and Justice party (PiS) are set to fall short of a governing majority in Sunday's election and Confederation is seen as their most probable coalition partner.
    "We are in favour of helping Ukraine but on certain conditions.
    It can't be giving it all with nothing in return," said Wojciech Rachon, a 21-year-old. "I agree with banning grain imports from Ukraine and ending the social benefits for Ukrainians," Rachon told AFP.
    In Sunday's election, Confederation will compete to emerge as the new parliament's third biggest party and is widely seen as the only possible coalition partner for the socially conservative PiS. Confederation leaders have so far publicly ruled out a formal alliance with PiS -- but have suggested they would try to influence its policies. (ANSA-AFP).

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