Andrzej Duda (L) faces a strong challenge from Warsaw Mayor Rafal TrzaskowskiPicture copyright
EPA/Getty Photos

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Andrzej Duda (L) faces a robust problem from Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski

Poles vote on Sunday in a presidential poll that might place important curbs on the facility of their nationalist authorities.

President Andrzej Duda is an ally of the ruling Legislation and Justice (PiS) get together and if he loses, the opposition might power a giant change in Polish politics.

His closest rival is the liberal, centre-right mayor of Warsaw, Rafal Trzaskowski.

Sunday’s vote is predicted to go to a run-off in two weeks’ time.

The election is being watched intently throughout Europe, as Mr Duda’s Legislation and Justice allies have continuously clashed with the EU over their controversial reforms to the judiciary and media.

When President Duda this month condemned the promotion of LGBT rights as an “ideology” extra damaging than communism, European Fee Vice-President Vera Jourova mentioned it was “actually unhappy” when European politicians in excessive workplace “determine to focus on minorities for potential political positive factors”.

The president’s principal rival has promised to restore ties with Brussels.

Poland’s president has the facility of veto. If the subsequent president used it in opposition to the governing get together, it will not have the required majority in parliament to overturn it.

Why Trump likes Duda

The governing get together has had extra success throughout the Atlantic, and final Wednesday Mr Duda grew to become the primary overseas chief to go to US President Donald Trump because the coronavirus pandemic.

He’s doing a terrific job. The folks of Poland suppose the world of him,” mentioned President Trump, in what was broadly seen as a home increase for Mr Duda. Mr Trump mentioned it was the third time he had hosted the Polish chief and he thought Mr Duda would “achieve success” within the presidential vote.

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Like Mr Trump, the Polish president additionally acts as commander-in-chief of the armed forces

President Trump additionally promised the Polish chief that among the 1000’s of US troops being moved out of Germany can be despatched to Poland as a substitute.

Who will win?

If Andrzej Duda will get 50% of the vote on Sunday, he’ll win – however he’s unlikely to attain that. If the mayor of Warsaw attracts as a lot assist because the opinion polls recommend, then Mr Trzaskowski will participate in a run-off that’s at present too near name.

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The election is being watched intently throughout Europe

The Warsaw mayor has risen quick within the polls since becoming a member of the race in Might. Beforehand a member of Donald Tusk’s Civic Platform authorities, Mr Trzaskowski gained the capital’s race for mayor in 2018 promising “Warsaw for All”.

Mr Duda was initially an aide to ex-President Lech Kazcynski, the co-founder of Legislation and Justice who died in a aircraft crash. He’s seen as a religious Catholic and signed pledges to forestall homosexual {couples} from marrying or adopting kids.

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Szymon Holownia is a well known TV presenter and his spouse Urszula is a fighter pilot within the Polish air power

There are 9 different candidates within the race, together with Szymon Holownia, presenter of TV present “I’ve bought expertise!” who’s third within the polls. As a self-styled progressive Catholic, his voters shall be key in any second spherical.

Different candidates embody:

  • Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz, chief of the PSL Polish Individuals’s Get together, which is seen as a rural farmers’ get together making an attempt to draw metropolis voters
  • Krzysztof Bosak, a far-right Eurosceptic politician who needs to convey again the loss of life penalty
  • Robert Biedron, Poland’s first brazenly homosexual MP who grew to become a mayor in northern Poland; homosexual rights have develop into a key goal for the Duda marketing campaign

How coronavirus annoyed Duda

This election was as a consequence of happen in Might, when Mr Duda was greater within the polls and had a greater likelihood of profitable within the first spherical.

Though the epidemic had not but peaked, the federal government was determined for the Might vote to go forward. It will definitely backed down when a junior coalition accomplice joined the opposition in saying Legislation and Justice have been placing politics earlier than public well being.

Poland has gained reward from the World Well being Group (WHO) for its response to the outbreak. It imposed a strict lockdown in early March and has largely escaped the worst of the pandemic, with simply over 1,400 deaths and 33,000 infections.

However the epidemic has pushed Poland’s economic system in the direction of recession.

The nation noticed an outbreak at a coal mine within the industrial heartland of Higher Silesia earlier this month and work at a dozen mines was halted.

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