Polls in Poland
Election posters are pictured in Warsaw, Poland, on October 9, 2019. Image Credit: AFP

WARSAW: Poland's governing conservatives will almost certainly win Sunday's general election, leaving little room for speculation. But the campaign has been filled with intrigue, thanks to scandals on both sides of the political aisle. Here are some examples:

Sex hotel

For the right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party, which has been in power since 2015, the most spectacular fall from grace was probably that of Marian Banas, the head of Poland's Supreme Audit Office (NIK) and a former finance minister.

Investigative journalists discovered that until recently Banas had owned a building housing a hotel for prostitutes managed by a man known to be a mobster in the southern city of Krakow. The manager had paid Banas unusually low rent, leading some observers to suspect tax avoidance.

Banas, who took unpaid leave last month pending an official investigation, has said he planned to sue the journalists from the commercial broadcaster TVN for defamation.

Online hate speech

In August, deputy justice minister Lukasz Piebiak stepped down after he was accused of orchestrating an online hate speech campaign against judges opposed to controversial court reforms introduced by the PiS.

The alleged scheme was revealed by a young woman who had played a central role before switching political camps and making the incriminating emails and tweets public.

Personal travel

PiS member Marek Kuchcinski was also forced to resign as parliament speaker after the opposition and certain media outlets revealed in August that he had repeatedly used government aircraft for personal travel.

Kuchcinski often flew with family or friends on government planes to spend weekends in the southern region of Rzeszow, where he is from and where he still leads the PiS electoral list.

Trash talk

Politicians from the governing party are not alone in making catastrophic mistakes, as media outlets close to the conservatives also revealed scandals involving the opposition.

Earlier this month, public radio and television released 2017 recordings in which Slawomir Neumann, a member of the centrist Civic Platform (PO), used foul language to show contempt for the Polish Peasants' Party (PSL) as well as for voters in general.

Neumann resigned from his position as head of the PO's parliamentary group, saying he regretted the "emotional" and "private" conversation, but he is still running in the October 13 general election.

Tit for tat 

State media also dug up old dirt on PO lawmaker Krzysztof Brejza, who heads the party's electoral campaign.

Brejza, the son of the mayor of the central city of Inowroclaw, allegedly orchestrated a campaign out of city hall using internet trolls to spread hate speech against political rivals.

State media resurfaced the two-year-old scandal just when the PiS party was caught up in the hate speech allegations against the deputy justice minister.