News ID: 271452
Published: 0144 GMT July 13, 2020

Poland's president narrowly wins election

Poland's president narrowly wins election

Polish President Andrzej Duda squeezed past his Europhile rival to win reelection, official results showed on Monday, but the narrow victory puts his allies in the right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party government on the back foot.

The incumbent won a new five-year term in Sunday's vote against Warsaw's liberal Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski, who had promised to mend ties with the European Union, AFP wrote.

The state electoral commission said Duda had 51.21% of the vote based on a count of votes from 99.97% districts. Trzaskowski, trailed with 48.79% of the vote.

Experts said the result means the governing PiS party, which has been criticized at home and abroad for controversial reforms of the judiciary seen as eroding democratic freedoms, will face a more confident opposition.

Duda’s victory opens the way to new clashes between Poland and the European Commission as the EU tries to deal with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic and rising nationalism across the 27-member bloc.

On the foreign policy front, experts said Duda's close ties with Donald Trump could spell trouble ahead if the US president fails to win re-election in November.

Duda’s campaign focused on defending traditional family values in the predominantly Catholic nation of 38 million people, and on preserving social spending policies.

Duda's support was particularly strong among older voters in rural areas and small towns and in the east of the country, while Trzaskowski has performed well with a younger electorate in larger cities and western regions on the border with Germany.

The election had been due to be held in May but was delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Duda won the first round of voting on June 28 with 43.5 percent against 10 challengers, including Trzaskowski, who came second with 30.4 percent.

Ahead of Sunday's runoff vote, Trzaskowski campaigned hard to sway voters who backed other opposition candidates.

Four days before the first round, Duda became the first foreign leader to visit the White House since the start of the pandemic and received praise from Trump for doing an "excellent job".




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