Poles stand in line for high-stakes presidential vote

Elias Hubbard
June 30, 2020

Duda, who is backed by the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party, got 45.24 percent of the ballot with 87 percent of polling stations counted, according to the national election commission.

He will face a run-off vote in two weeks' time against Warsaw mayor Rafal Trzaskowski, who is standing for the largest opposition party, the centrist Civic Platform (PO).

Duda has painted himself as the guardian of the government's social benefit programmes and conservative social values, which mirror those of the powerful Catholic Church.

(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski). A top candidate in Poland's presidential election, Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski, front, reacts to the exit poll after voting closed, in Warsaw, Poland, on Sunday June 28, 2020.

Duda had always been seen as the clear favourite to win the election, but some recent polls have shown Trzaskowski winning in the second round.

Duda meanwhile fared better than Trzaskowski in smaller-sized cities and towns, as well as in villages, where he won by a landslide. Duda also attracted more older voters, especially those 50 years and up.

Anna Trzop, a 34-year-old lawyer working in Brussels, said she was anxious that she would not receive her voting package before the second round.

Fellow voter Urszula however said she was crushed by the results. I thank you with all my heart.

"The people need to wake up".

The candidate with the third most votes according to the exit poll was Szymon Holownia, a TV personality and journalist who had once studied to be a priest.

Both Duda and Trzaskowski, after hearing the results, seemed to indicate that they meant to battle for the votes of the far-right candidate, Bosak.

Nine other candidates who ran in the first round have now been eliminated.

Conservative incumbent Andrzej Duda, who is backed by the populist Law and Justice party, won 43.7 per cent of votes with more than 99 per cent of polling stations counted, in an election that had Poland's relationship with the European Union at its heart.

Anna Materska-Sosnowska, a political scientist at the University of Warsaw, said support for Bosak does not necessarily reflect the level of support for far-right radicalism in Poland because of the way Bosak avoided radical public statements during the president campaign.

Mr Trzaskowski now needs to find a way to bring Poland's disparate opposition - which includes left-wing parties, liberals and moderate conservatives - together.

"What hurts us is this government's monopoly on power".

"Without them, there will be several more years of a monopoly on power which is not honest and can not be held to account because it attacks independent institutions".

"The government and the president believe that the people are there to serve those in power, when in fact it's those in power who should be serving the people".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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