Komorowski leads race to Polish presidency

Poland`s acting head of state, Bronislaw Komorowski, won most votes in an election on Sunday that was forced by the death of President Lech Kaczynski in a plane crash, but faces a runoff vote against Kaczynski`s twin.

Warsaw: Poland`s acting head of state, Bronislaw Komorowski, won most votes in an election on Sunday that was forced by the death of President Lech Kaczynski in a plane crash, but faces a runoff vote against Kaczynski`s twin.

Exit polls showed between 41 and 46 percent of Poles voted for Komorowski, the candidate of the ruling pro-business Civic Platform (PO), and up to 36 percent for Jaroslaw Kaczynski, head of the right-wing main opposition party Law and Justice (PiS).

about 13 percent of the vote. But he and the other seven candidates now drop out of the race, leaving Komorowski and Kaczynski to contest the July 4 runoff.

The two men, both conservative Catholics but with differing styles and views on the euro, market reforms and Poland`s place in Europe, are expected to court Napieralski`s voters actively.

"Let`s mobilize our forces for July 4," Komorowski told jubilant supporters at his campaign headquarters.

The president, though less powerful than the government, can veto laws, appoints many key officials and has a say in foreign and security policy.

Lech Kaczynski had angered Prime Minister Donald Tusk`s economically liberal government by blocking some reforms.

Sunday`s election, billed as the most unusual in Poland`s 21-year post-communist history, was called after the death of Lech Kaczynski and 95 others, mostly top political and military officials, in a plane crash in Russia on April 10.

Komorowski became acting president on Kaczynski`s death in his capacity as speaker of parliament.

Bureau Report

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