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Poland to hold presidential election

May 10, 2015, 6:59 UTC+3 WARSAW
Poland’s incumbent leader Bronislaw Komorowski, who is running for a second term, is the favourite of the presidential race
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WARSAW, May 10. /TASS/. Poland will hold its next presidential election on Sunday. More than 27,000 polling stations will fling the doors open at 07:00am, local time (08:00, Moscow time) in the country. The voting will end at 21:00pm (22:00, Moscow time).

More than 30 million Poles have the right to cast a vote in the presidential election, including 192,000 - abroad, where polling stations will also be opened. Polish citizens this year will be able to choose from 11 registered candidates. However, according to opinion polls, only three of them have real chances for the victory.

Poland’s incumbent leader Bronislaw Komorowski, who is running for a second term, is the favourite of the presidential race. His campaign is based on the on the slogan "Accord and Safety." Komorowski’s headquarters have been extensively using the theme of threat hanging over Poland because of the conflict in the east of Ukraine, and the need to strengthen the army and the country’s defence capacity. According to a recent opinion poll, 35% of voters were ready to vote for Komorowski.

Komorowski’s main competitor - candidate of the opposition party Law and Justice Andrzej Duda is gaining 27% of the votes in the ratings. He has placed his stake on criticism of actions of his rival and the government, highlighting social problems and tasks, promising, first of all, to cancel the unpopular decision made by the current government to raise the retirement age in the country to 67 years.

The rapid growth of popularity of rock musician Pawel Kukiz, who in the recent election rating got 15% of the vote, has come as a big surprise in the presidential race. He has won the trust of voters, declaring the intention to fight partocracy and introduce a single-mandate constituency electoral system.

In general, observers say, the election campaign this year has been boring. None of the candidates to replace Komorowski has demonstrated charisma, the power of personality, the ability to change things in the country. As a result, the country’s presidential race has again been reduced to the customary over the past 10 years struggle between the two largest political forces - the ruling party Civic Platform, which is associated with Komorowski, and the opposition Law and Justice party, which has nominated Andrzej Duda as its candidate.

The State Election Commission (SEC) did not say when the official results of the election could be made public. According to the SEC head Wojciech Hermelinski, it will not happen until Tuesday morning of May 12. "Possibly, it will be done later. I hope it will take not too long," he said. Meanwhile, immediately after the closing of the polling stations, the exit polls results will be known.

If none of the candidates for the presidency scores more than 50% of the vote, in two weeks - on May 24, a second round of voting will be held for the two candidates who get the largest number of votes.

The presidential election is held in Poland every five years, and according to the country’s Constitution, one and the same politician cannot hold the office for more than two consecutive terms. The first President of modern Poland was General Wojciech Jaruzelski, elected on July 19, 1989 unopposed by the Sejm. A year later, the general election was won by the leader of the Solidarity trade union, Lech Walesa. Two rounds were held. Walesa in the final round by a wide margin beat Canadian businessman of Polish origin Stanislaw Tyminski. The third president was the leader of the left-wing forces, Aleksander Kwasniewski, who in 1995 in the second round of election scored 3% more votes than Walesa. Five years later - in 2000, Kwasniewski was re-elected president in the first round. At the next election in December 2005, the leader in all rating Donald Tusk was unexpectedly beaten in the second round by Lech Kaczynski. After his tragic death in a plane crash near Smolensk on April 10, 2010, an early presidential election was held in the country. The main candidates then were the twin brother of the deceased leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, and Bronislaw Komorowski. In the second round Komorowski got 53.01% of the vote. His opponent Kaczynski scored 46.99% of the vote.

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