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Poland - Presidential Election

Bronislaw Komorowski is elected President of the Republic of Poland

Bronislaw Komorowski is elected President of the Republic of Poland

05/07/2010 - Results - 2nd round

Bronislaw Komorowski (Civic Platform, PO) was elected President of the Republic of Poland after the second round of the presidential election on 4th July. The leader of the Diet, the lower chamber in Parliament and in virtue of this also interim Head of State since the accidental death of the outgoing Head of State Lech Kaczynski on 10th April last, won 53.01% of the vote and drew ahead of his rival Lech Kaczynski (Law and Justice PiS), the twin brother of the outgoing President and former Prime Minister (2006-2007), who won 46.99% of the vote. Turnout rose to 55.29% i.e. 1.3 points more in comparison with the 1st round on 20th June last.

"Today democracy won, our Polish democracy," declared Bronislaw Komorowski. "Division is an inseparable part of democracy. But I feel that these differences, these divisions, the pain of division are too great. There is a lot of work to do so that this does not prevent us from cooperating, that it does not prevent the creation of a new national "entente". It is important not to foster division but to build a sense of unity," he added in a speech insisting on the need for dialogue and cooperation. "We thank everyone especially because it was an unusual campaign, organised in the wake of a catastrophe," concluded the election winner.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski acknowledged defeat quite quickly. "I have to do what politesse dictates. I congratulate Bronislaw Komorowski," he declared on the announcement of the first results. "It is a paradox that this presidential election has a winner but not a loser. Just a few months ago, Jaroslaw Kaczynski and Law and Justice could not have hoped for support such as this," analyses Jacek Wasilewski, professor at the School for Higher Studies in Social Psychology in Warsaw. Indeed, although he was beaten, Jaroslaw Kaczynski did however succeed in making an impressive comeback, threatening the election favourite and achieving an honorable result, after adopting a new moderate, tolerant approach in a bid to rally centrist voters.

Bronislaw Komorowski, whose slogan was "entente is constructive" played the card of rallying the population in this election and repeated that his election would put an end to cohabitation between the government of Prime Minister Donald Tusk (PO) and the conservative opposition. He called on the Poles to "choose a 21st century Poland and not one that turns its back on the future and focuses on history."

The election of Bronislaw Komorowski is important for the Polish economy. The new Head of State has promised to continue the liberalisation of the economy and to work with the government to launch the necessary reforms. Donald Tusk's government also plans to take Poland into the euro area within the next five years. Debate between the two rounds mainly focused on social, public health issues and the means to withdraw Polish troops from Afghanistan. On this last point Bronislaw Komorowski promised to repatriate the 2,600 Polish troop stationed in Afghanistan by 2012.
"It is quite easy to forecast what will happen under the Presidency of Bronislaw Komorowski. He will cooperate with the government and they will start reforms – not straight away perhaps but the direction has been established," analyses political expert at the University of Warsaw, Olgierd Annusewicz.
In Poland the government undertakes the national policy, the President of the Republic has a right to veto which the Diet, the lower chamber in Parliament, can only reject with a 3/5 majority, by a vote that has to take place with at least half of the MPs in attendance. The Head of State can also decide alone with regard to the organisation of a referendum.

58 year-old Bronislaw Komorowski, a qualified historian, was an anti-communist militant in his youth. Committed to the democratic opposition forces he was imprisoned in 1981 for having organised a demonstration against the ruling powers. After the fall of communism he was elected to Parliament under the Democratic Union label in 1991 and 1993. Five years later he was re-elected under the label of Electoral Solidarity Action (AWS). Appointed National Defence Minister in 2000 in the government led by Jerzy Buzek he occupied this post one year before quitting the People's Conservative Party (SKL) of which he had become a member; he then joined Civic Platform (PO). Bronislaw Komorowski again became an MP in Warsaw and Deputy leader of the Diet, the lower Chamber of Parliament after the general elections on 25th September 2005. He was finally appointed leader of the Diet after the election on 21st October 2007. It was in this capacity that he became interim President of the Republic on 10th April after the accidental death of the Head of State, Lech Kaczynski.

A regional election is planned in Poland in a few months time (autumn 2010) and the next general elections will take place in October 2011. Platform Civic (PO) therefore has little time to set in place the vital reforms so badly needed in Poland and which affect public finance, taxation, retirement pensions and even the healthcare system. If we look to Jerzy Borowczak who was one of the organisers of the strike on 14th August 1980 in the shipyards of Gdansk and which led to the legalisation of the Solidarity union the election of Bronislaw Komorowski makes Poland "a normal State that no longer looks backwards".

Source : Internet Site of the Polish Electoral Commission (http://wybory2010.pl )
Publishing Director: Pascale JOANNIN