The political spotlight fell on Bronislaw Komorowski by accident in more ways than one.
The tragic death of Poland’s president triggered a constitutional chain of events, the first being Komorowski’s temporary assumption of the presidency as speaker of parliament.
The deadly crash at Smolensk in Russia in April prompted an early election following the untimely death of Lech Kaczynski, who had been overwhelming favourite to retain the post.
Just weeks earlier Komorowski had been elected the Civic Platform’s candidate after defeating the party’s foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski.
A member of underground pro-democracy groups under communist rule, Komoroski’s overtly political career began when Poland overthrew communism in 1989.
He served as defence minister between 2000 and 2001 and although brief, the experience could prove vital. The president has a key say in foreign and security policy. He can also veto laws that can have a decisive impact on the result of parliamentary elections.
Komorowski’s role as speaker meant he was already well known in the political scene.
But, among Poles he is seen as a father of five children with strong family values. Even supporters describe his style as quiet and predictable. Key qualities perhaps as Poland’s government seeks to get to grips with the economy.