Poland's Komorowski wins presidential election

WARSAW, Poland — Bronislaw Komorowski won Poland's runoff presidential elections, the state election commission said Monday, after all the votes had been counted.

Komorowski, of the centre-right Civic Platform party, gained 53.01 per cent of the vote, the commission said.

Opponent Jaroslaw Kaczynski, of the right-wing Law and Justice party, received 46.99 per cent of the vote.

Turnout reached 55.31 per cent during the voting Sunday to find a successor to Lech Kaczynski, who died in a plane crash in Russia in early April.

Analysts said Komorowski's win put pressure on his Civic Platform party to prove itself in the year before the 2011 parliamentary elections.


"Our Polish democracy has won," Komorowski said Sunday after exit poll results showed his victory. "And even though we'll have to wait for the big bottle of champagne tomorrow, I think we have enough reason for pride and joy."

The campaign had been "especially difficult because it took place in the shadow of the tragedy," he said.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and German president Christian Wulff both sent their congratulations, reported the Polish Press Agency. Medvedev said he wanted to improve Polish-Russian relations, while Komorowski renewed his invitation to the Russian leader to visit Poland, the agency reported.

Kaczynski, the twin brother of Lech Kaczynski, spoke Sunday night to his supporters in Warsaw, saying his party now had a chance to win in the parliamentary elections because they had proven their popularity.

"I congratulate the winner, I congratulate Bronislaw Komorowski," Kaczynski said. "But most of all I want to sincerely thank all those who participated in these elections, and those who supported us.

There are many of them. So many that we can surely say that Poland has changed."

Sunday's election followed a first round of voting on June 20, in which no candidate secured a majority.

Results showed larger cities had mostly voted for Komorowski, a moderate politician who stressed in his campaign Poland's need to play a stronger role in the European Union.


Smaller cities and rural areas voted largely for Kaczynski, who has more conservative social views and emphasized traditional values in his campaign.

Kaczynski has been known for his hesitancy to build relations with Russia and the EU, but recently took on a more diplomatic tone.

The president will be inaugurated today.

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