After the runoff election for the office of president in poland, opposition challenger rafal trzaskowski congratulated incumbent andrzej duda on his victory. "May this term be a truly different one," trzaskowski wrote on twitter.
According to the electoral commission, after 99.98 percent of the constituencies were counted, duda received 51.1 percent of the vote, while trzaskowski received just under 48.9 percent. Based on these data, voter turnout was around 68 percent. The electoral commission still lacked the results from five constituencies. The official final result was expected later in the day.
Duda, a 48-year-old lawyer, was supported by the national conservative ruling party pis, which is at odds with the eu commission over its reform policies. Trzaskowski, who has been mayor of warsaw since 2018, had entered the race for the liberal-conservative citizens’ coalition (KO) and ran a pro-european campaign.
As in previous elections in poland, the individual results showed gross regional differences. Trzaskowski was clearly ahead in all eleven major polish cities with more than 250,000 inhabitants. He also scored in the north and west of the country. Duda, on the other hand, was supported primarily by the rural population and in the heavily catholic south and east of the country. In the precarpathian region of southern poland, for example, he received 70.9 percent of the vote.
Polish ambassador to berlin andrzej przylebski expects duda to be more independent and european-friendly in his second term in office. "President duda knows that polish citizens are very europe-enthusiastic, and he will act on that wish, i suppose," przylebski told ARD’s "morgenmagazin" television program.
Lithuania’s president gitanas nauseda and czech head of government andrej babis were quick to congratulate duda on his re-election. EU commission president ursula von der leyen initially kept a low profile. Von der leyen will congratulate the winner, but is still waiting for the final result, said her spokesman eric mamer.
Renata alt, the FDP’s expert on central europe in the bundestag, sees the close outcome of the election as a sign of the division in polish society. "Trzaskowski’s strong result shows that a large part of polish society wants a policy that actively defends liberal and pro-european values," she said. The EU and germany must continue to support the protection of freedom of the press, because the verbal attacks with which duda has recently tried to silence critical voices in germany are unacceptable.
The afd chairman in the foreign affairs committee of the bundestag, petr bystron, explained that with duda’s re-election, the poles had voted "for their own nation, culture, religion and traditions and against the excessive demands of the globalists in the eu. "The vote is clear: poles do not want to be governed from berlin and brussels. And that’s a good thing," explained bystron.
In poland, the president holds office for five years. The head of state does not only represent the country in the eyes of the public. The president also influences foreign policy, appoints the prime minister and the cabinet, and is the supreme commander of polish armed forces in the event of war. In addition, he can stop bills with his veto right. In parliament, a three-fifths majority is then needed to override the president’s veto.