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Poland’s main opposition party changes presidential candidate

Poland’s main opposition party Civic Platform (PO) on Friday chose Rafal Trzaskowski to replace Malgorzata Kidawa-Blonska as new presidential candidate after Kidawa-Blonska announced her quit from Poland’s presidential elections to be held later in the year.

Aged 48, Trzaskowski is the current mayor of Warsaw.

Read more: BREAKING: US House passes $3 trillion coronavirus aid bill

The change comes a nearly week after the elections originally scheduled for May 10 being postponed. The ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) accused the PO of falsely citing health reasons of the COVID-19 pandemic and democratic standards to force the postponement.

Incumbent Polish President Andrzej Duda, a former MEP and staunch supporter of PiS and its leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski, was polling well among the likely voters. Opinion polls suggested a result of over 50 percent in favor of Duda in the first round if the elections took place as normal, as a large part of opposition supporters had declared that they would not take part in a vote conducted entirely by post, which the government tried to push through. A result above 50 percent would see Duda reelected outright.

More recent polls, however, showed Duda dipping below 50 percent again, making a runoff with the second-placed candidate likely. The new date for the elections has not been announced, but are speculated at the end of June or in early July. 

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