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Rafal Traskowski in Poland
Image: Getty Images/O. Marques

Polish opposition challenges vote result

July 16, 2020

The opposition has blasted the presidential vote as "not a fair election" — but the liberal Civic Platform faces an uphill battle with Poland's Supreme Court. Conservative incumbent Andrzej Duda narrowly won the vote.


The main opposition party in Poland on Thursday launched a legal challenge to the presidential election result that saw its candidate narrowly lose to conservative President Andrzej Duda. 

The opposition Civic Platform (PO) party claims Duda received an unfair campaign boost from the populist right-wing Law and Justice Party (PiS), which is currently in government and allied with Duda. 

Poland's electoral commission on Monday said incumbent Duda won a second five-year term with 51.03% of votes, while Warsaw Mayor and PO candidate Rafal Trzaskowski tallied 48.97%.

The president is mostly without executive power — but the position is able to veto laws put forward by the governing PiS party. 

Uphill battle

The opposition's move is largely seen as unlikely to succeed, particularly after the Supreme Court's new president was appointed in May with the backing of the conservative government.

The Supreme Court has 21 days to review all election protests and determine if any undermined the election. 

"It was not a fair election,'' said Barbara Nowacka of the Civic Platform, before filing the protest.

Earlier this week, after congratulating Duda on the election, Trzaskowski called on the president to "free himself from his political party." 

"I hope the president will display more independence in his second term," the pro-European Union mayor added. 
Read more: Opinion: Duda's reelection in Poland will deepen divisions

The OSCE body monitoring the election has said the July 12 vote was organized professionally overall, but noted that the country's public broadcaster was being used as a campaign tool for Duda.

"It was a very sharp campaign, probably too sharp at times,'' Duda told supporters after edging out Trzaskowski. "If anyone is offended by my words, please forgive me. And give me the chance to improve in the next five years."

stb/rs (AP, AFP)

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