Poland Has Chosen A New President

His official swearing-in is not till early August, but Poland has elected a new President. Liberal candidate Bronislaw Komorowski beat off right wing rival Jaroslaw Kaczynski in a run-off on July 4th. The margin of victory was 53.01 percent to 46.99 percent.

The president-elect comes from an aristocratic family, several members of which have played a notable role in Poland's history. His kinsman, Tadeusz Komorowski, was Commander-in-Chief of Poland's underground army during World War II, leading the doomed Warsaw Uprising against the Nazis in 1944. The new president was an ant-communist activist who was imprisoned in the 1980s for his stance.

Although he has now had to resign from his affiliation as a matter of course, Komorowski was a member of the Civic Platform Party (Platforma Obywatelska), which is widely considered the most cosmopolitan and least extreme party in Polish politics.

It was initially expected that Mr. Komorowski would win a more decisive victory. But the elections had to be moved forward a few months following the Smolensk air tragedy of April 10th. It is widely accepted that the death of former president Lech Kaczynski gave his twin brother a boost in popularity that greatly helped the right wing campaign.


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