Bronisław Komorowski has won the second round of the Polish presidential race receiving 53.01% of the popular vote, thereby defeating former prime minister Jarosław Kaczyński who won 46.99%. Elections had become necessary after the twin brother of Komorowski’s main contestant, president Lech Kaczyński, had tragically died in a plane crash on April 10, 2010.
The government candidate Komorowski, who as Sejm Marshal (speaker of the Polish parliament’s first chamber) had already been acting president since the tragic death of his predecessor, already won the first round two weeks ago; however, he fell short of an absolute majority receiving only 41.5%. While opinion polls first saw Komorowski as the clear favourite for the second round, Kaczyński effectively managed to decrease the initial differences and mobilise his voters by presenting himself as having turned away from his former hardline nationalist-patriotic policies.
Komorowski repeatedly stressed during his campaign that he plans to cooperate with the government and support its reforms. After the relationship between his predecessor (who amongst others had successfully blocked the government’s reform of the health care system) and the Tusk government had been characterised by continuous conflict and contest over competences, it is expected that Komorowski’s election will not only contribute to the political stability of the country but also enhance Poland’s relations with its international partners. The inauguration ceremony will take place in August this year.