Polish presidential election likely to be settled in run-off
The first round of Poland's presidential election on Sunday (June 28) is widely expected to result in the incumbent and his main challenger facing off in a close second round in July.
Incumbent President Andrzej Duda is an ally of Poland's ruling nationalists Law and Justice (PiS) and his re-election is crucial for the government's hopes of implementing its conservative agenda.
PiS' reforms to the judiciary and media sectors have been challenged by the European Union, saying they violate EU standards on democracy and rule of law.
Duda's campaign has focused on rallying his conservative base with attacks on what he calls lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender "ideology", while promising to protect popular social benefit programmes for families and pensioners that have transformed life for many poorer Poles.
Ahead of the election, he will travel to Washington on Wednesday (June 24) to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump, the first foreign leader to visit the White House since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Duda's main challenger, Warsaw mayor Rafał Trzaskowski, was chosen to replace the main opposition centrist Civic Platform's (PO) previous candidate, Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska, after her support plunged in polls.
After the announcement of a new election date, Trzaskowski said he collected more than 1.6 million signatures within the week he was given to register.
Trzaskowski is standing on a pro-EU, centrist ticket and has supported IVF and LGBT rights, putting him at odds with the Poland's influential Catholic Church.
As mayor, he has worked with leaders of European capitals in opposition to their national governments, such as Budapest, Prague, and London.
While polling still indicates Duda will come top in the first round, recent polls by Kantar and Ipsos show him and Trzaskowski tied in a second round run-off.
Źródło: TVN24 News in English, Reuters
Źródło zdjęcia głównego: Shutterstock