Conservative Challenger Celebrates Victory in Poland's Presidential Election

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Conservative challenger Andrzej Duda celebrated victory in yesterday's presidential election against Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, a result that will set alarm bells ringing for the government, which faces its own election race later this year.

Conservative Challenger Celebrates Victory in Poland's Presidential Election

Mr Komorowski had originally been seen as a shoo-in for another term in office, and his defeat reflected a desire among voters for new faces, and a sense that Poland's new-found prosperity was not being shared out equally.

The outgoing president, an ally of Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz, announced he was conceding defeat after an exit poll showed he had won 47% to 53% for Mr Duda.

Official results have not yet been released.

The victory for the 43-year-old Mr Duda marks the first major electoral win in almost a decade for his party, the opposition Law and Justice party.

It is close to the Catholic church, socially conservative and markets see it as less business-friendly than the governing Civic Platform.

In Poland, the prime minister leads the government but the president is head of the armed forces, has a say in foreign policy and in the passage of legislation, and also controls who heads the central bank.

Mr Duda served as legal adviser to former conservative President Lech Kaczynski, was a deputy justice minister, a member of the Polish parliament, and is now a member of the European parliament, RTE reported.

He has yet to spell out explicitly how he will use his new powers, but he could promote a more sceptical approach to the European Union, and block socially liberal initiatives such as a proposed law that would support in-vitro fertilisation.

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