Bronislaw Komorowski declared Polish president

Poland's Bronislaw Komorowski was officially declared the country's new president today comfortably defeating rival Jaroslaw Kaczynski.





The electoral commission said that Mr Komorowski won 53.01% of the vote to Mr Kaczynski's 46.99%.



The early voting was forced by a plane crash in April that killed President Lech Kaczynski, Mr Kaczynski's identical twin.



Mr Komorowski's election offered Poland's pro-business ruling party an opportunity but also a challenge as it prepared to govern without the obstacle of a hostile head of state.



With parliamentary elections scheduled for late 2011, the Civic Platform party of Mr Komorowski and Prime Minister Donald Tusk must now show the country whether it can tackle major economic problems, including high debt and unemployment.



"Civic Platform! You now have total power," the tabloid Fakt declared in large type on its front page today. "Show what you can do - you have a year!" Mr Kaczynski had conceded defeat last night after exit polls predicted that his rival had won.



Mr Komorowski has pledged to work with the government closely to support its programme of modernising and trimming the welfare state. Any painful changes could hurt Mr Tusk in next year's elections. Among reforms the government wants is an increase in the retirement age. Currently women can retire at 60 and men at 65.



Mr Kaczynski, a relatively unpopular politician just months ago, made a run for the seat after his brother's death and won significant support after shedding his combative image and benefiting from a surge of sympathy over the loss of his brother.



Memories of the chaotic government Jaroslaw Kaczynski led from 2006-2007 probably helped keep him from victory, but his strong showing has boosted his followers' hopes that he might strengthen his showing in future elections.



Mr Komorowski's victory will be welcome news for leaders in Berlin and Brussels. Jaroslaw Kaczynski is a noted nationalist and eurosceptic, reluctant to adopt the euro or to cede much sovereignty to the EU. When he was prime minister, his government was often at loggerheads with officials in Brussels.



Both Kaczynski twins were also suspicious of Germany, and frequently made a political issue of the suffering that Germany inflicted on Poland during the Second World War.



Germany's foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, welcomed Mr Komorowski's election as "a strong pro-European signal." He said that, in Mr Komorowski, Berlin would have "a strong partner for (its) course of trust and cooperation."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Parts Advisor

£16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading Mercedes-Ben...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Telemarketers / Sales - Home Based - OTE £23,500

£19500 - £23500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced B2B Telemarketer wa...

Recruitment Genius: Showroom Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This global company are looking for two Showro...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor