Poland's conservative president wins reelection

Conservative incumbent President Andrzej Duda defeats centrist challenger Rafal Trzaskowski in closest election since end of communist rule.

David Rosenberg , | updated: 10:12

Andrzej Duda
Andrzej Duda
REUTERS

Polish President Andrzej Duda is now projected to win reelection, with the ballots counted at 99.97% of polling stations across the country, according to data released by the National Electoral Commission

Duda had declared victory in his country’s presidential election, which as held on Sunday, citing exit polls and preliminary results giving him a two-point lead over challenger Rafal Trzaskowski.

Duda, a staunch conservative who is allied with the Law and Justice (PiS) party, was projected to receive 51.0% of the vote, according to an Ipsos exit poll which combines survey data with official results for 90% of the polling stations that took part in the exit poll.

Trzaskowski, the socially liberal Mayor of Warsaw, who ran as part of the centrist Civic Platform (PO) party, is projected to receive 49.0% of the vote.

Those projections were slightly more favorable for Duda than the initial exit polls, which showed him leading by less than one point, 50.4% to 49.6%.

Trzaskowski had refused to concede the election, saying he is confident that the final results will show him as the winner.

"I am sure that we will win, for sure,” he told supporters at a rally.

But with nearly all of the votes counted, Duda’s lead over Trzaskowski increased to 51.2% - 48.8%. That is the narrowest margin of victory in a Polish presidential election since the end of communist rule.

In 2015, Duda also won by a narrow margin, carrying 51.5% of the vote.

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

The election had initially be slated for May, but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

After having led by a wide margin in the polls earlier in the election cycle, Duda slipped in the polls as the coronavirus crisis escalated and the Polish economy fell into a recession.




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