Poland’s Presidential Election Shocker- Komorowski and Kaczynski in a Dead Heat

Well polling once again has proven inaccurate, including exit polls.  This time in Poland.  This week the Platforma Obywatelska (Civic Platform, PO) candidate, acting president Bronislaw Komorowski, was comfortably in front in all the polls ahead of the twin brother of the tragically killed president Lech Kaczynski of Prawo I Sprawiedliwosc (Law and Justice, PiS).  And Komorowski looked to be a comfortable winner in the expected run-off election between the two seeing as no one was likely to get the needed 50% of the votes.

Bronislaw Komorowski

Well one thing turned out to be correct, there will very likely be a run-off.  But with just under 50% of the votes counted Komorowski is almost in a dead heat race with Jaroslaw Kaczynski.  39 to 38 %.  And now the run-off victory for Komorowski is uncertain.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski

This election of course was not supposed to happen till the fall.  But the tragic air crash in Smolensk forced a quick election.  The campaign lasted only six weeks.  Several candidates run.  Most did not stand a chance.  Komorowski handily won his party’s nomination before the crash.  Poland’s national tragedy however, forced him into a seat of power quicker than he expected.  He, as called on by the Polish Constitution, assumed the powers of a temporary president when Lech Kaczynski lost his life.  One would think that it would help Komorowski.  Unfortunately his party is also in charge of the Polsh Sejm (parliament), and their reaction to the tragic floods in Poland was not looked upon in favourable light.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, riding on a wave sympathy of the voters for his lost brother and thanks to  the unpopular actions of the government now has a real chance to become president.  Though I still believe he will lose in a run-off election.  But it will be close.  And there are no guarantees.  So PO and Komorowski need to step up and run the country properly in those couple of weeks and they need to run a proper election campaign.

The tragic plane crash had a big influence on the election and voters.  The election itself was toned down, without much of the usual petty bickering and personal attacks.  There was no debate before the this election.  Though one or two should happen before the run-off.  Komorowski, a candidate of a business friendly centre-right party, is pro European, and portrays himself as someone who can unite the nation.

Kaczynski, the until April, unlikely candidate, was Poland’s prime minister in 2006-07, but was known as terse and uncompromising.  PiS is more to the right than PO.  It counts on the support of the Church, and as the opposition, is enjoying the support of those dissatisfied with the state of economy in Poland.  Kaczynski this time around, was toned down, more conciliatory than in the past.  He for his part, portrayed himself as willing to compromise and also was trying to be THE one who will unite the nation.

The debates will be crucial in light of today’s result.  The election will take place on July 4th.

Published in: on June 20, 2010 at 7:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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