Presidential Candidates Face Off in Debate

Less than a week remains until the 20 June presidential elections, and yesterday evening on Polish station TVP, four candidates squared off in their final push towards Poland’s white house.

The four candidates represented the two main parties, Civic Platform (PO) and Law and Justice (PiS), as well as the Polish Peasant’s Party, whose candidate is Waldemar Pawlak, and the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD), represented by the 35-year-old Grzegorz Napieralski. Originally, acting President Bronisław Komorowski had refused to participate unless either all 10 candidates took part, or just the two leading contenders. However, the PO candidate decided at the last minute to attend.

The debate itself concluded with no revelations from any of the candidates, and will probably have little effect on voters. The format of the debate, which allowed each candidate only one minute to speak, left little room for interaction between the four men. Significantly, all of the candidates came out in favour of increasing the country’s cooperation with Russia.

In the end, the debate benefited the minority party candidates, Napieralski and Pawlak, the most, by giving them equal time with the leading contenders. The latest polls show both making small gains in the wake of the debate. Nonetheless, Komorowski is still the leader at around 40 percent, followed by Jarosław Kaczyński at between 29 and 33 percent.

See also: Voting in Poland (or Abroad): A How-to Guide

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