Kaczynski concedes defeat in Polish presidential elections

JAROSLAW KACZYNSKI has conceded defeat in the Polish presidential elections.

Exit polls showed Bronislaw Komorowski had a slight edge over the late president’s l twin brother.

The poll released last night by the TNS OBOP institute predicted Komorowski winning 53.1% of the vote, while Kaczynski won 46.9%.

A separate poll, by Millward Brown SMG/KRC, showed Komorowski with 51.1% and Kaczynski 48.9%.

Official results are expected later today.

The snap election was forced by the air-crash death of conservative president Lech Kaczynski, with his twin bidding to replace him and keep out the governing liberals’ candidate.

Pitting hardball ex-prime minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski against soft-spoken acting president Bronislaw Komorowski, the run-off marks the latest chapter in a bitter power struggle.

Lech Kaczynski perished on April 10 when his jet crashed in Smolensk, western Russia as it landed for a World War II commemoration. A total of 96 people died, among them his wife, senior politicians and military top brass.

The law made parliamentary speaker Komorowski acting president.

“The campaign’s behind us, now we await the result,” the unmarried Kaczynski, 61, said after voting in Warsaw alongside his bereaved niece, Marta.

Campaigning was illegal from midnight Friday until the close of polls at 8pm yesterday.

Komorowski voted in his rural retreat Mackowa Ruda, in northeastern Poland. Asked if he was confident, he simply told reporters: “Very”.

Lech Kaczynski came from behind to beat liberal Donald Tusk – now prime minister – in the 2005 presidential race.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, head of the conservative, eurosceptic Law and Justice party, was premier in 2006-2007 but lost a general election to Tusk and Komorowski’s Civic Platform.

There after, Law and Justice counted on Lech Kaczynski, who used presidential veto powers 18 times to block the liberals’ laws.

The liberals underscore that Poland was alone in the 27-nation European Union in posting economic growth last year.


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