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Komorowski 'ahead' in Polish vote
Exit polls say acting president leading, but presidential runoff still likely.
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2010 19:00 GMT
 Kaczynski, the late president's twin, is challenging Komorowski, the acting president [AFP]

Exit polls following Poland's presidential election are predicting a victory for Bronislaw Komorowski, the country's acting president.

Soon after voting ended at 18:00GMT on Sunday, surveys showed Komorowski ahead of  Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the twin brother of late president Lech Kaczynski whose death in a plane crash forced the early election.

Komorowski has roughly 41 per cent of the vote, according to exit polls, compared to 36 per cent for Kaczynski.

That, however, would not be enough to win the election outright, and the two are likely to face a runoff election on July 4.

Opinion polls taken before the election had predicted a similar result.

Runoff vote

in depth

  Profile: Bronislaw Komorowski
  Profile: Jaroslaw Kaczynski
  Video: Poles gear up for elections

Those surveys also showed that Komorowski would easily beat Kaczynski in a second round.  

Victory would be a boon for Komorowski's Civic Platform party, unlocking a political logjam more than a year before the autumn 2011 parliamentary elections.

The election date was moved up after Lech Kaczynski was killed in a plane crash along with his wife and 94 others near the western Russian town of Smolensk on April 10.

Nazanine Moshiri, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Warsaw, said that there was a lot of sympathy for Kaczynski, following the death of his twin brother and as his mother is seriously ill in hospital.

"But there are other things at stake in this election, like the direction Poland is heading. Lech was very much against Poland joining the Euro and withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.

"He vetoed a lot of policies the government was trying to bring in to modernise and liberalise the market. So there's a lot of things on people's minds here."

Moshiri said that Komorowski is pro-Euope and pro-reforms, going against Jaroslaw Kaczynski's support base.

"So this really is a contest between two different visions of what the future should be here in Poland," Moshiri said.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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