- Title: Incumbent Duda extends narrow lead in Polish election cliffhanger
- Date: 13th July 2020
- Summary: WARSAW, POLAND (JUNE 12, 2020) (REUTERS VIA SKYPE) (QUALITY AS INCOMING) (SOUNDBITE) (Polish) POLITICAL ANALYST, RAFAL CHWEDORUK, SAYING: "If Rafal Trzaskowski wins we can expect both sides to declare willingness to cooperate but as a matter of fact they will be fighting with high stakes."
- Embargoed: 27th July 2020 00:05
- Keywords: ANdrzej Duda Polish election Polish president Rafal Trzaskowski exit polls
- Location: PULTUSK AND WARSAW, POLAND / INTERNET
- City: PULTUSK AND WARSAW, POLAND / INTERNET
- Country: Poland
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA006CMI7UIV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: PART QUALITY AS INCOMING
Poland's incumbent president Andrzej Duda was slightly ahead in Sunday's (July 12) presidential election, a late poll showed, a narrow victory which if confirmed would allow the ruling nationalists to deepen their conservative reforms.
The late poll which combines exit poll data with partial official results showed Duda, an ally of the ruling nationalists Law and Justice (PiS), winning 50.8% of the vote and liberal Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski, the candidate of the largest opposition party, the centrist Civic Platform (PO), coming second with 49.2%.
Backed by the government, Duda ran an acrimonious campaign, laced with homophobic language, attacks on independent media and accusations levied against Trzaskowski that he would serve foreign interests instead of Poland's.
He appeared conciliatory on Sunday. "If anyone was offended by anything I did or said in the last five years, not just during the campaign, please accept my apology," he told supporters in Pultusk, a small town north of the capital.
Trzaskowski addressing his supporters in a park just outside Warsaw's historic Old Town said he was confident that the final vote count will show how serious the a challenge the opposition is to the ruling party.
"They thought they had full power, but today they have fear in their eyes," he said.
Observers say his defeat could undermine the fragile parliamentary majority that supports the PiS government, raising the spectre of political instability as Poland is coping with the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
Rafal Chwedoruk, a political analyst said that for the first time since 2015 the scale of a PiS victory was not discussed during the campaign but whether PiS would win at all.
(Production: Gosia Wojtunik, Anna Dabrowska)
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