icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
5 Jul, 2010 11:10

Komorowski declared Polish president-elect

With all the votes counted, the Polish election authority has declared Bronislaw Komorowski the new president-elect.

He received 53.01 per cent of the votes, while his only rival Jaroslaw Kaczynski had to settle for 46.99 per cent.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev congratulated Komorowski on his victory in the poll on Monday.

Earlier Komorowski's competitor, the twin brother of the late Polish leader, had conceded defeat in the presidential race.

The early vote was triggered by the tragic death of the country's previous leader in a plane crash in April.

It was set to be a tight race. The platforms of the two candidates were pretty much similar, according to what the analysts have been saying ever since the unscheduled presidential campaign started in Poland. The difference was that Bronislaw Komorowski is seen as a politician who is mild in his policies both inside and outside Poland, while Jaroslaw Kaczynski is more a far-right nationalist hardliner.

The first round of the election two weeks ago brought no major sensations, except for the fact that the gap between the two main candidates was only five per cent, while it had been predicted that it could widen to at least ten per cent or more. This fact brought more intrigue into the second round, especially given the fact that there could have been the factor of a sympathy vote for Jaroslaw Kaczynski, which could have turned this election into a completely unpredictable scenario.

Bronislaw Komorowski has been traditionally seen as a front runner and most likely winner of this election. Just several months ago, opinion polls suggested over 50 per cent of people would vote for Komorowski, but during the election campaign, the twin brother of the late president Lech Kaczynski, managed to snatch more votes in his favor.

Another factor at play was that Komorowski’s electorate, which is mostly young people, is currently either on holidays or getting down at music festivals across Poland, and they may have failed to give their votes to the interim president. It was more certain with Kaczynski’s electorate. Older people, who are mostly in favor of Jaroslaw Kaczynski, were expected to turn up at the polling station.

Piotr Kazcynski from the Centre for European policy studies believes that the government will be centralized in the hands of Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

“The whole executive branch is in his hands, through either direct control of his party in the parliament or the government that he presides over, as well as the direct link with fellow party member Komorowski,” Kazcynski told RT.

“Komorowski’s victory means a real possibility of Russian-Polish thaw” – analysts

Bronislaw Komorowski’s victory will help to improve both Russian-Polish and Russian-European relations in general, and will make the dialogue with Poland more constructive, believes Konstantin Kosachev, head of the Parliamentary Committee for International Affairs.

From the point of view of internal affairs, the Poles have been given the choice between the model of the previous years, when the parliament and the president were in opposition to each other, and the model of partnership between these power institutions, Kosachev added.

“Komorowski’s victory means that the government and parliamentary majority will have support from president. This is a partnership model,” Kosachev said.

Poland is tired of a dead-locked, straightforward confrontation with Russia, says Aleksey Makarkin, First Deputy President of the Center of Political Technology.

“Both main candidates understood it, but if Jaroslaw Kaczynski had won, his actions towards Russia would have been more complicated to figure out in advance,” Makarkin said.

Aleksey Makarkin believes that Komorowski’s kindly statements towards Russia during the election campaign have been not just rhetoric, but more likely part of the line Poland is going to hold in regard to Russia.

As for the military policy, especially US missile defense plans, Komorowski is unlikely to make great changes to the military and political co-operation that exists now between Poland and NATO and the US, believes political analyst Evgeny Volk, deputy director of the Yeltsin Foundation.

“Some years ago, Poland has made a choice becoming an active member of NATO, and the plans to deploy new missiles which Poland believes to be needed for its defense will go on, despite opposition on behalf of the Russian government,” Evgeny Volk says.

Tadeusz Iwinski, a member of the Polish Parliament, believes the political situation in Poland is certain to become “brand new.”

I believe we will accelerate the process of a deeper co-operation with all our major neighbors, including Ukraine,” Iwinski said. “Because the number one target for Poland is just to diminish. […] the gaps that exist between us and most developed EU countries.”