Polish presidential vote headed for runoff

Poland's Duda fails to gain majority in presidential election, says exit poll

Duda has been a loyal ally, signing off on nearly all of the PiS legislative programme, as the government has stood accused of democratic backsliding and weakening the rule of law by European officials and civil society organisations.

Liberal Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski, who is standing for the largest opposition party, the centrist Civic Platform (PO), came second with 30.3 percent, officials say.

The state electoral commission said its almost complete vote shows Duda with 43.67%; Trzaskowski with 30.34%; Holownia with 13.85% and Bosak with 6.75%.

Duda meanwhile fared better than Trzaskowski in smaller-sized cities and towns, as well as in villages, where he won by a landslide.

"He presented himself as a well-groomed, nice gentleman in a suit, appealing to many that way", she said.

"It's with a heavy heart that I note that if PiS voters rally, it'll be tough", the 60-year-old librarian told AFP.

"The people need to wake up".

An independent, Szymon Holownia, whose voters are likely to support Trzaskowski in the second round, won 13.8 per cent while the far-right candidate, Krzystof Bosak, got 6.7 per cent.

President Andrzej Duda shows signs of victory after the vote ended in Lowicz Poland on Sunday
President Andrzej Duda shows signs of victory after the vote ended in Lowicz Poland on Sunday

Analysts say many of those who voted for one of the also-rans did so in protest against Duda and the government, suggesting they could back Trzaskowski in the run-off.

A left-wing politician who was Poland's first openly gay presidential candidate, Robert Biedron, was expected to win 2.9 percent, while an agrarian candidate, Wladyslaw Kosiak-Kamysz, had 2.6 percent in the poll. output. "Both parties will opt to mobilise voters in a negative way, against their opponent", he said, quoted by the Gazeta Wyborcza daily.

Duda, who made attacks on "LGBT ideology" a major part of his campaign, will carry a strong advantage from the first round into the run-off, and said on Sunday night he had received a higher percentage than he had done in the first round five years ago.

WARSAW, Poland (AP) - Poland's conservative president, Andrzej Duda, promised Monday to protect traditional Polish values against LGBT rights after a first-round presidential election that gave him the most votes but forced him into a runoff.

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.

"It would block all activity, leading to the overthrow of the government".

PiS won power in 2015 and embarked on an agenda that has mixed right-wing populist rhetoric on social and cultural issues with increased government spending. "They have politicised every institution, every oversight institution, in such a way that it is hard now to hold them accountable", Trzaskowski said on Monday.



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