Duda wins presidential vote, Poland's electoral commission says

His re-election is of great importance to the ruling conservative party

Andrzej Duda has narrowly won Poland's presidential election, the electoral commission PKW confirmed on Monday. Duda secured 51.2%t of the vote in the run-off election, the commission said citing results from 99.8% of constituencies. Duda's rival, liberal Warsaw mayor Rafal Trzaskowski, won 48.8% of the vote. Voter turnout was unusually high at 68.12 %, the commission said.

Sunday’s vote was originally planned for May but was delayed amid political wrangling. It follows a bitter campaign dominated by issues of culture in which the government, state media and the influential Catholic church all mobilized in support of Duda, news wires reported.

The result of the presidential election is of great importance to the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS). Duda’s victory should consolidate, at least until the 2023 general elections, the supremacy of the party, which has ruled the country alone since 2015, DW reported.

The position of president in Poland is not purely representative. The head of state participates in the management of the country’s foreign and defense policy. Not only can he block laws with his veto, but he can also suggest legislative bills.

In the election campaign, Duda focused mainly on a conservative social agenda, promising to safeguard traditional family values ​​in the predominantly Catholic country. He made verbal attacks on supporters of an alleged “LGBT ideology”, which he said was being imposed on Poles. In addition, the president tried to win votes by stoking anti-German resentments and accused the German media of sponsoring an “attack” against Poland.

Since coming to power, PiS has fueled tensions with the EU and has sparked repeated street protests in the country due to controversial laws and a judicial reform project aimed at giving the party control over major courts and other judicial bodies important. While the Polish government insists that changes are needed to eliminate judicial corruption, critics and the EU say they undermine judicial independence and democracy just three decades after Poland abandoned communism.

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