It’s official, the winner of the Polish presidential election is Bronislaw Komorowski (photo, from aljazeera.net).
Election officials said that the acting president won 53.01% of the vote while rival Jaroslaw Kaczynski got 46.99%, in the run-off.
Although Kaczynski had initially accepted defeat based on an exit poll, Komorowski’s camp remained cautious.
Jaroslaw Kaczynski is the twin of former president Lech Kaczynski, who died in a plane crash with 95 others in April.
Neither candidate won more than 50% in the first round in June : Komorowski gained 41.5% and Kaczynski 36.5%. Eight other candidates were eliminated.
While Kaczynski represents the main opposition Law and Justice party, the new president is from the ruling Civic Platform party.
The plane crash dominated the election. Among the dead in April were Poland’s first couple and other leading political and military figures.
‘Continue changing Poland’
Urszula Gacek, a former senator from the Civic Platform party, told the BBC’s World Today programme that many voters who supported the left-wing candidate in the first round had switched their allegiance to Komorowski in the run-off.
Jaroslaw Kaczynski was his brother’s prime minister in 2006-2007. He admitted defeat and said the elections were a “great rehearsal” for regional polls due later this year and parliamentary elections in 2011.
“We have to continue changing Poland. We have to continue to be mobilised, we must win,” he said.
He also paid tribute to his brother, and others who died in the crash, saying: “A movement has emerged from their martyrs’ death.
“It was due to the work and service of my brother that a new quality in Polish public life emerged, a return to value, a return to patriotism, everyone in the campaign had to adhere to that,” he said.
After the tragedy, Kaczynski is seen to have ridden a wave of public sympathy, and his popularity has grown considerably.
The BBC’s Adam Easton in Warsaw says the result should mean a rare period of political stability for the country, with the prime minister and president from the same party.
Komorowski’s party favours market reforms and engagement with Poland’s European Union partners.
He would be unlikely to use his power of veto over the government’s plans to introduce structural and economic reforms, according to the BBC’s correspondent adds.