New president of Poland to be elected in run-off

29 Jun 2020, 01:36

  DF News Desk

A woman casts her ballot at a polling station in Warsaw, Poland, on June 28, 2020. Photo Xinhua.

Incumbent Polish President Andrzej Duda will meet his main rival Rafal Trzaskowski, candidate of the main opposition party Civic Platform (PO), in the run-off of Poland's presidential elections, according to an Ipsos exit poll published on Sunday night, reported Xinhua, quoting Polish Press Agency.

According to Ipsos, Duda received 41.8 percent of the vote, while Trzaskowski, who's also mayor of Warsaw, gained 30.4 percent, and Szymon Holownia, an independent running as a moderate conservative, gained 13.3 percent.

   Under Polish election rules, as none of the 11 contenders in the race won more than 50 percent of the vote, a run-off will be held on July 12.

   Duda, supported by the conservative Law and Justice party, and Trzaskowski, a Christian democrat, will look to draw voters of the nine other candidates to their side in the run-off.

   Despite leading in the first round, Duda will be facing a neck-and-neck contest in the run-off due to opposition consolidation. Holownia already endorsed Trzaskowski for the run-off a week earlier. Much will also depend on voters of far-right candidate Krzystof Bosak, who gained 7.4 percent of the vote.

   Despite COVID-19 numbers still rising in the country, Sunday's first round saw relatively high turnout. Exit poll indicated 62.9 percent of voters cast their ballots, up from 49 percent five years earlier.

   "I thank everyone who voted for me, but I also thank everyone who turned out to vote," Duda said in his speech after the voting.  

   Trzaskowski, however, criticized Duda and the ruling Law and Justice party. "These will not be a choice between Andrzej Duda and Rafal Trzaskowski, but a choice between an open Poland and a Poland that, sadly, looks for an enemy and prefers to divide people."

   The presidential race, originally planned for May 10, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown.

   To date, Poland has a total of 33,907 COVID-19 infections, with 1,438 deaths, according to the daily update published by the Health Ministry on Sunday morning.