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Challenger Wins 1st Round Polish Presidential Poll; Runoff May 24

  • VOA News

Opposition candidate Andrzej Duda, (r) who narrowly defeated President Bronislaw Komorowski in the 1st round forcing a runoff, May 11, 2015.

Opposition candidate Andrzej Duda, (r) who narrowly defeated President Bronislaw Komorowski in the 1st round forcing a runoff, May 11, 2015.

Official results in Poland's first round of presidential elections confirm that previously unknown challenger Andrzej Duda narrowly won Sunday's polls over incumbent Bronislaw Komorowski

Final results, released late Monday, show the challenger with just under 35 percent of the vote, to Komorowski's nearly 34 percent. The two now face a runoff vote May 24.

Analysts are describing Duda's win as one of the biggest shocks in Polish politics in recent years, given that pre-election surveys signaled a relatively easy win for the incumbent.

Former punk rock musician Pawel Kukiz finished third Sunday with nearly 21 percent of the vote. Analysts are describing that strong and unexpected showing as a reflection of voter dissatisfaction with the way the country is faring under the incumbent's economically liberal and socially centrist Civic Platform Party.

Kukiz campaigned on promises to introduce single member constituencies to replace the current party list system, claiming that individual candidates rather than party slates would be more transparent and responsive to voter concerns.

On Monday, the campaigns of both Komorowski and Duda began wooing Kukiz supporters with promises to back changes in rules that govern how parliamentary elections are conducted.

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