Sunday 18 March 2018

Jaroslaw's 'duty' to win twin's job

Tony Paterson in Berlin

HE is a cat-loving, conservative bachelor who is renowned for opposing abortion, gay rights and the European Union.

Yet Jaroslaw Kaczynski could emerge as Poland's new president tomorrow in an election in which he is aiming to replace his twin brother, who died in April's devastating air crash.

The controversial Mr Kaczynski said he has a moral obligation to step into the shoes of his late brother Lech, who was killed along with 95 other senior political, military and religious figures in Poland's worst-ever air disaster on April 10, when a plane carrying their party crashed in fog in western Russia.

"It is my duty to carry on for those who died -- especially for my brother," Mr Kaczynski said, as he reminded supporters that he used to telephone his brother at least twice a day.

Polls suggest that the once-unpopular, 61-year-old former Law and Justice party prime minister is trailing less than six points behind Bronislaw Komorowski (58), the front runner and presidential candidate for the liberal Civic Platform party of Poland's prime minister, Donald Tusk.

There are several other candidates in the race. But if neither of the two leaders wins more than half the votes on Sunday, the contest will enter a second round on July 4.

Political observers say a second vote could boost Mr Kaczynski's chances because it could rally Poland's conservative Catholic farmers, who are his traditional supporters.

They point out that many of the younger, liberal voters who might vote against him will be off on holiday by July 4. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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