The Latest: Poland's ruling party loses majority in Senate

  • Leader of Poland's ruling party Jaroslaw Kaczynski speaks in reaction to exit poll results right after voting closed in the nation's parliamentary election that is seen crucial for the nation's course in the next four years, in Warsaw, Poland, on Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019.

    Leader of Poland's ruling party Jaroslaw Kaczynski speaks in reaction to exit poll results right after voting closed in the nation's parliamentary election that is seen crucial for the nation's course in the next four years, in Warsaw, Poland, on Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. Associated Press

  • Leader of Poland's ruling party Jaroslaw Kaczynski speaks in reaction to exit poll results right after voting closed in the nation's parliamentary election that is seen crucial for the nation's course in the next four years, in Warsaw , Poland, on Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019.

    Leader of Poland's ruling party Jaroslaw Kaczynski speaks in reaction to exit poll results right after voting closed in the nation's parliamentary election that is seen crucial for the nation's course in the next four years, in Warsaw , Poland, on Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. Associated Press

  • Leader of Poland's ruling party Jaroslaw Kaczynski speaks in reaction to exit poll results right after voting closed in the nation's parliamentary election that is seen crucial for the nation's course in the next four years, in Warsaw , Poland, on Sunday, Oct. 13 ,2019.

    Leader of Poland's ruling party Jaroslaw Kaczynski speaks in reaction to exit poll results right after voting closed in the nation's parliamentary election that is seen crucial for the nation's course in the next four years, in Warsaw , Poland, on Sunday, Oct. 13 ,2019. Associated Press

  • The ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski holds his ballot at a polling station in Warsaw, Poland, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. Poles are voting Sunday in a parliamentary election that Kaczynski is favored to win easily, buoyed by the popularity of its social conservatism and generous social spending policies that have reduced poverty.

    The ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski holds his ballot at a polling station in Warsaw, Poland, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. Poles are voting Sunday in a parliamentary election that Kaczynski is favored to win easily, buoyed by the popularity of its social conservatism and generous social spending policies that have reduced poverty. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 10/14/2019 9:56 AM

WARSAW, Poland -- The Latest on Poland's election (all times local):

4:50 p.m.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Official returns from 99.5% percent of the votes counted in Poland's parliamentary election suggest the country's ruling right-wing party might have lost its majority in the upper chamber, the Senate.

According to the State Electoral Commission on Monday, the Law and Justice party won just under 45% of votes Sunday for the 100-seat Senate, which translates to 49 senators, down from the 61 senators it now has. Opposition parties seem to have won 51 seats.

Returns from voting abroad still need to be counted, but they are not expected to change the breakdown of the seats.

Law and Justice Sen. Jan Maria Jackowski said Monday the party has found itself in a "new situation" in the Senate that means it will have to negotiate more to pass laws.

The Senate has the power to block or amend proposed legislation that has been approved by the lower chamber.

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2:55 p.m.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe says "clear media bias as well as intolerant rhetoric" by politicians detracted from a weekend election in Poland that was otherwise well run.

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The assessment from the OSCE, a democracy organization made up of 57 countries, came a day after Poles voted in an election to the 460-seat lower house of parliament and the 100-seat Senate.

Jan Petersen, the head of the election observation mission, said that there was high-level polarization in the public and private media. He said the ability of voters to "make an informed choice was undermined by a lack of impartiality in the media, especially the public broadcaster."

Under the ruling, the Law and Justice party, which won the election according to nearly complete results, used state media as a mouthpiece to praise its own and cast opponents in a negative light.

Petersen also said the discriminatory rhetoric used by "a number of leading political figures is of serious concern in a democratic society."

He did not give examples but the election took place in an extremely divided society. Recently the ruling party has used anti-gay rhetoric to shore up its conservative base.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

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10:35 a.m.

Nearly complete results in Poland's weekend election confirm that the conservative ruling party Law and Justice capitalized on its popular social spending policies and social conservatism to do better than when it swept to power four years ago.

Poland's state electoral commission reported Monday that Law and Justice got nearly 45% of the vote, up from 38% in 2015.

Around 91% of the votes have been counted.

The results point to a Law and Justice majority in parliament.

The centrist Civic Coalition is running second with almost 27%, while a left-wing alliance is trailing with 12%. The conservative agrarian Polish People's Party got nearly 9%, while Confederation, a new far-right group that is openly anti-Semitic and homophobic, is set to enter parliament after winning 6.8% of the vote.

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