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Duda beats Komorowski in upset Poland presidential vote

The right-wing candidate Andrzej Duda has won Poland's runoff election. Two weeks ago, 62-year-old incumbent Bronislaw Komorowski had seemed a shoo-in for a second five-year term.

According to exit polls, Andrzej Duda, running for the euroskeptic Law and Justice Party, won 53.5 percent of Sunday's presidential vote. That leaves 62-year-old Civic Platform incumbent Bronislaw Komorowski out of a job two weeks after he surprisingly found himself neck and neck with Duda, who had edged him into second place in the election's first round.

Duda, a 43-year-old lawyer and member of the European Parliament, had scored a one-point victory by winning over disillusioned voters with populist promises of generous social spending, an earlier retirement age and lower taxes. In contrast, Komorowski, the head of state since 2010, had campaigned as a seasoned defense specialist who had the support of the Polish-born former US national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski as well as celebrities.

Komorowski conceded defeat shortly after the initial results were released on Sunday.

Poland's president commands the military, picks the central bank chief, and may introduce and veto legislation in the country of 38 million people.

mkg/rc (Reuters, AFP, dpa, AP)

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