Polish presidential candidates head for run-off as Duda wins 1st round

Warsaw, Jun 29 (efe-epa).- The leading candidates in Poland’s presidential elections are set for a second round of voting after neither incumbent Andrzej Duda nor Rafal Trzaskowski secured more than 50 percent of the ballots over the weekend.

The country’s electoral commission on Monday said the ultra-conservative leader Duda, who is backed by the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party had taken 43.67 percent of the votes with 99 percent of the ballots counted.

His main competitor, the liberal candidate and Warsaw mayor Trzaskowski had taken 30.34 percent, just as exit polls had predicted.

Trzaskowski is running for the center-right Civic Platform party.

The second round is due to go ahead on 12 July.

Opinion polls conducted last week predicted a second round of voting would be needed.

All other candidates, including journalist Szymon Holownia and the far-right politician Krzysztof Bosak, were eliminated from the race in Sunday’s vote.

According to the latest data, there was a turnout of 63.97 percent, which would suggest a substantial increase from the less than 50 percent recorded during the last election in 2015.

There is political polarization in Poland whereby large cities, including the capital, tend to swing towards liberal and centrist suits, while rural areas are the bastions of PiS which has ruled Poland since 2015.

“This is the result we were hoping for,” Duda told public radio Monday.

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