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Murdered Polish mayor's deputy wins by landslide to replace him

FILE PHOTO: The Mayor's Spokeswoman Magdalena Skorupka-Kaczmarek addresses the media at a news conference with Deputy Mayors Piotr Kowalczuk and Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, a day after Gdansk Mayor Pawel Adamowicz was stabbed on stage at a national charity event, in Gdansk, Poland January 14, 2019. Bartosz Banka/Agencja Gazeta via REUTERS/File Photo

WARSAW (Reuters) - Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, the former deputy of murdered Gdansk mayor Pawel Adamowicz, won a landslide victory in elections to replace him in the northern Polish city, preliminary results showed on Monday.

The murder of Adamowicz, a liberal critic of the anti-immigrant policies of Poland’s government, during a charity event in January provoked a wave of emotion in the country and a debate on hate speech.

As of 0600 GMT Dulkiewicz had won 82 percent of the vote on a turnout of 48.6 percent according to Gdansk’s website.

“This is a very good turnout in unusual and special elections which nobody expected,” Polish news agency PAP quoted Dulkiewicz as saying.

“I believe that in the last seven weeks the people of Gdansk passed the exam, not only as human beings but also as citizens.”

Poland’s major political parties did not field candidates in the election, meaning Dulkiewicz had only two opponents -- far-right candidates Grzegorz Braun and Marek Skiba.

Reporting by Alan Charlish