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Poles vote in knife-edge presidential election

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics - Duration: 01:16s - Published
Poles vote in knife-edge presidential election

Poles vote in knife-edge presidential election

Incumbent president Andrezj Duda is facing off against liberal Warsaw mayor Rafal Trzaskowski in a presidential election that could determine Poland's future relationship with the European Union.

David Doyle reports.

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Poles voted on Sunday (July 12) in a knife-edge presidential election that has highlighted the country's deep political divisions and may also shape its future relationship with the European Union.

Incumbent Andrezj Duda - an ally of the ruling nationalist Law and Justice party, or PiS - is taking on liberal Warsaw mayor Rafal Trzaskowski.

Duda's re-election is crucial if PiS is to deepen judicial reforms that have been criticized by the EU as increasing political control over the courts.

The president holds the power of veto, and Trzaskowski - who has said he is seeking a more open Poland - has promised to block legislation he believes undermines political norms. Critics say Dudu has drawn on homophobia and anti-Semitism in his campaign while Trzaskowski has angered religious conservatives by attending pride marches and promising to introduce sex education classes in the city's schools in line with WHO standards.

Given that Poland's president holds few executive powers, it is unlikely Trzaskowski could bring about significant change if he won.

But with the presidency as well as the upper house of parliament in opposition hands, PiS's ability to implement its agenda would be hampered.




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