Poles are going to the polls to choose its new president in a run-off vote. In the first round on 10 May, neither Conservative challenger Andrzej Duda nor incumbent Bronislaw Komorowski gained the 50% needed to win outright. Mr Duda edged Mr Komorowski, who had been the favourite and is looking for a second term, by 34.7% to 33.7%. BBC reports:
The president has limited powers, but is head of the armed forces and can veto new laws. Mr Komorowski, 62, took office five years ago after his predecessor, Lech Kaczynski, died in a plane crash.
The choice is between two conservatives albeit with some differences.
President Komorowski says he is the stable candidate who can steer Poland safely through troubled times caused by the conflict in neighbouring Ukraine. A firm supporter of the EU he is also somewhat more progressive on social issues than his younger challenger, Andrzej Duda, who opposes abortion, IVF treatment and same-sex marriage.
Mr Duda is a moderate eurosceptic who favours state support for those less well off. He appeals to the millions of Poles who say they do not feel the benefits of the country’s 25 years of almost uninterrupted economic growth.