Presidential Debates Conclude

Last night at 8 pm, Polish voters watched the final showdown between presidential candidates Bronisław Komorowski and Jarosław Kaczyński live on national television. The format was similar to the first televised debate, with three television journalists asking the candidates questions in three categories: social issues, foreign policy, and the economy.

However, while the first debate was widely viewed as a win for Komorowski, Polish media have largely labelled Kaczyński the winner of last night’s round. The latter was seen as more active and more prepared compared to the first debate. On the other hand, Komorowski was seen as self-promotional, and too often toeing the party line of the current government of Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

However, throughout the debate Komorowski stressed his belief in cooperation and harmony, and answered Kacyński’s accusation of liberalism by listing his bipartisan achievements.

In the second debate, the atmosphere was more tense than in the first round, and at one point, the debate became quite heated, when Komorowski recalled the late President Lech Kaczyński’s often obstructive nature. Offended, Jarosław Kaczyński stated that it’s rude to not respect the dead.

The run-off election will take place this Sunday, 4 July. Because this is the first time a major election has taken place during vacation season, the Polish government has taken steps to ensure that vacationing Poles will still be able to participate in the electoral process. Polish citizens have until tomorrow, 2 July, to claim their “certificate of the right to vote”, which entitles them to vote anywhere there is a polling station.

See also: Second Round Voting: A Nation on Holiday?

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