World News

Komorowski will win Polish presidency: poll

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland’s Acting President Bronislaw Komorowski would win a presidential election expected in June following the death of incumbent Lech Kaczynski in a plane crash, a poll showed on Tuesday.

Poland's acting President Bronislaw Komorowski attends a memorial service at the Parliament building in Warsaw April 13, 2010. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Komorowski, the presidential candidate of Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s governing centrist Civic Platform (PO), would win 55 percent in a second round of the election against 32 percent for Kaczynski’s twin brother Jaroslaw, said the TNS OBOP poll, published by the leading tabloid daily Fakt.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who leads Poland’s main opposition, right-wing Law and Justice party (PiS), has not yet said whether he will run for the presidency in place of his brother, though he is under pressure from his supporters to do so.

Lech Kaczynski, his wife Maria and 94 others, mostly senior military and political officials, died in a plane crash in Russia on April 10, plunging Poland into mourning. The Kaczynskis were buried in Krakow, southern Poland, on Sunday.

Lech Kaczynski had been widely expected to seek a fresh five-year mandate on the PiS ticket in an election originally scheduled for the autumn. PiS is expected to name its new candidate shortly.

“We will make our decision on the presidential candidate toward the end of this week. PiS members and supporters want it to be Jaroslaw Kaczynski, but it’s up to him and his closest advisers to decide,” Adam Lipinski, a high-ranking PiS official, told Reuters.

Komorowski, who automatically became acting president on Kaczynski’s death in his capacity as speaker of parliament, is expected to announce on Wednesday that June 20 will be the date of the first round of the presidential election.

If no candidate wins 50 percent plus one of the vote then, a second round will be held two weeks later on July 4.

A separate poll published on Tuesday showed support for Tusk’s ruling PO had fallen by three percentage points to 45 percent while Kaczynski’s PiS had risen one percentage point to 32 percent, its highest level in many months.

The PBS DGA pollster started its survey of party support on April 9, the day before the plane crash, and finished it on April 13 during a period of national mourning, said the Gazeta Wyborcza daily that published the survey.

Poland is due to hold a parliamentary election in 2011.

Reporting by Gareth Jones and Pawel Sobczak, writing by Gareth Jones, editing by Dominic Evans