Komorowski concedes defeat as Duda sets runoff victory

Polish President Komorowski acknowledges election victory of his conservative opponent Duda in presidential runoff

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

President Bronislaw Komorowski of Poland conceded defeat against his conservative opponent Andrzej Duda in Sunday’s presidential runoff.

The outgoing President Komorowski, who is known for his essential support to Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz, acknowledged Duda’s election victory later on Sunday as the exit poll showed that his rival got a 53 percent of the popular vote while he only took 47 percent.

"I respect your choice," Komorowski told a gathering of his supporters and wished a successful presidency for his election rival Andrzej Duda.

"I congratulate my competitor Andrzej Duda and wish him a successful presidency," Komorowski said.


Sixty two-year old Komorowski had taken office of Polish presidency when the former president Lech Kaczynski and his delegation were killed in a plane crash near Smolensk air base in Russia as they were going to commemorate the Katyn massacre five years ago.

Official results are expected to be confirmed on Monday with a clear victory of Duda, a lawyer and member of the European Parliament.

"I deeply believe that we can reconstruct our community. I am convinced that we can be together, that we can improve our country...We can change Poland,"" Duda said in a victory speech to his voters.

"Yes, it's time for change, time to end this sluggish, indolent presidency." Duda added.

As the head of opposition Law and Justice Party, 42 year-old Duda, also known as a moderate eurosceptic, had pledged his supporters before the first leg of presidential election that Poland will not be a part of Eurozone, a move he believes would increase the market prices in the country.

Opinion polls before the presidential election had suggested Komorowski as the favorite of the voting, but Duda has surprisingly challenged to the current president who was seeking to win a second term in his post.

Komorowski had staged with a 32.2 percent vote behind his conservative opponent Duda who won 34.8 of the popular vote in the first round held on May 11.

Poland is the largest economy in Eastern Europe that placed in the European Union since 2004, but still uses its national currency Zloty, and regarded as one of the fastest growing markets in the world.

The Polish constitution gives governing power to the seat of Prime Ministry since Poland is a parliamentary democracy, whereas it leaves presidency with some symbolic powers, including approval of laws, appointment of head of central bank, participating to foreign policy-making and heading to army forces.

Duda’s presidential victory marks the first major electoral win in almost a decade for the his opposition Law and Justice Party and it might very likely to distress the incumbent center-right government of the Civic Platform led-by Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz in the upcoming parliamentary election in October.

Polish Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna underlined this situation after Sunday's result as he said the result was a serious warning for Civic Platform.

"We have to ask ourselves difficult questions ahead of the next elections," he told public broadcaster TVP Info.

Eight years in power, the centre-right Civic Platform had presided over rapid economic growth and rising salaries in the formerly communist country which was transformed into a market economy and parliamentary democracy with the auspices of ex-president Lech Walesa in the early 1990s.


TRTWorld and agencies