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Polish President and re-election candidate Andrzej Duda gestures for victory after the elections in Pultusk, Poland, on Sunday July 12, 2020. (AP Photo / Czarek Sokolowski)
WARSAW (AP) – Polish President Conservative Andrzej Duda won 51.21% of the vote with almost all the votes counted after the weekend’s elections, the country’s electoral commission said on Monday.
The almost complete results, with 99.97% of the districts counted, showed the progressive mayor of Warsaw, Rafal Trzaskowski, in second place with 48.79% of the votes.
However, the final results may vary.
If the difference remains, it would be one of the tightest elections in the history of Poland, a reflection of the deep divisions in the member country of the European Union.
Sunday’s vote was originally planned for May, but was postponed amid fierce political disputes.
The sour campaign was dominated by cultural and social issues. The government, the state media and the influential Catholic Church mobilized to support Duda, a social conservative.
The president, backed by the ruling Law and Justice party, campaigned in defense of traditional values and social spending in the country, which is mostly Catholic, to seek a second five-year term.
When the distance between the two candidates began to narrow in the polls of the past few weeks, Duda turned more to the right in search of votes, describing the movement for LGBT rights as a « ideology » worse than communism.
Duda’s campaign also showed Trzaskowski as someone who would sell Polish families to Jewish interests, channeling old anti-Semitism into a country that had the largest Jewish community in Europe before it was decimated by Germany in the Holocaust.