July 5, 2010 / 1:22 AM / 9 years ago

Factbox: Five facts about Poland's Komorowski

WARSAW (Reuters) - Bronislaw Komorowski is the candidate of Poland’s centrist ruling party, Civic Platform (PO), in Sunday’s presidential election run-off.

The election was precipitated by the death of President Lech Kaczynski in a plane crash in Russia on April 10. Komorowski became Poland’s acting president on Kaczynski’s death in his capacity as parliamentary speaker.

Opinion polls suggest Komorowski will win the election, but he faces a strong challenge from Kaczynski’s identical twin brother Jaroslaw, the leader of Poland’s main right-wing opposition party.

Here are five facts about Bronislaw Komorowski:

* Komorowski, 58, became the speaker of the lower chamber of Poland’s parliament, the Sejm, in 2007 after Donald Tusk’s pro-business, pro-euro PO ousted the conservative-nationalist government of Jaroslaw Kaczynski.

* A member of underground pro-democracy organizations under communism, Komorowski was interned during martial law, imposed from 1981 to 1983 in an attempt to break the anti-communist Solidarity trade union.

* Komorowski has been a member of parliament since Poland overthrew communism in 1989 and served as defense minister between 2000 and 2001.

* Komorowski, a historian by training, was born in communist Poland into a family with aristocratic roots. He and his wife Anna, a classical philologist, have five grown-up children.

* The mustachioed, gently spoken Komorowski is seen as a “safe pair of hands” with a track record of loyalty to Prime Minister Tusk, Poland’s most powerful politician. As president, he would likely work smoothly with the government as it tries to rein in a big budget deficit and to prepare for euro adoption.

Writing by Gabriela Baczynska and Gareth Jones; editing by Elizabeth Fullerton

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