Nobel winner Tokarczuk calls on Poles to choose democracy

Nobel winner Tokarczuk calls on Poles to choose democracy

Poles will choose between "democracy and authoritarianism" in Sunday's general
Poles will choose between "democracy and authoritarianism" in Sunday's general election, author Olga Tokarczuk, pictured October 10, 2019, has said AFP/SASCHA SCHUERMANN

WARSAW: Poles will choose between "democracy and authoritarianism" in Sunday's general election, author Olga Tokarczuk, said on Friday (Oct 11), a day after winning the 2018 Nobel Prize for literature.

"For me, these elections are the most important since 1989 (when communism fell)," Tokarczuk said in a live broadcast on Poland's TVN24 news channel from Dusseldorf, Germany.

"We face a clear choice; whether to vote for a Poland that will move away from Europe and set aside democratic values - I think it's a choice between democracy and authoritarianism," she added.

"Let's vote in the right way," Tokarczuk added, in remarks widely interpreted as rallying support for Poland's centrist and liberal opposition.

A vegetarian and environmentalist with long, dark dreadlocks, the 57-year-old writer is also a political activist has not shied away from criticising Poland's right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) government.

While critics say the party's court reforms violate the rule of law, pushing Poland away from its EU partners and ushering in a creeping authoritarianism, supporters hail its generous welfare measures, including a popular child allowance, aimed at creating an effective social safety net.

"Now I'm thinking about Poland and Poles, who are going through a difficult moment, who are facing an election that will determine the form of democracy, or whether there will be democracy at all," she told AFP on Thursday, hours after news broke that she had won the delayed 2018 Nobel Prize for literature.

Source: AFP/nh

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