Polish conservative candidate Lech Kaczynski has won the country’s presidential runoff.
The Law and Justice Party leader secured more than 54 percent of the vote – more than 10 percent ahead of his rival and fellow reformist Donald Tusk, of the Civic Platform. His task now is to make good on campaign promises to root out corruption and shore up the welfare state. The tough-talking Warsaw mayor paid tribute to his twin brother Jaroslaw, who is also party chairman. “Mister Chairman, I report that the mission is accomplished,” he told cheering supporters in Warsaw. Neither Law and Justice nor Civic Platform won a majority in last month’s parliamentary elections. Kaczynski’s victory paves the way for the resumption of stalled coalition talks with Civic Platform. Law and Justice favours more cautious economic reforms, versus the sweeping free market plans of its would-be partner. But it will not necessarily be plain sailing – Civic Platform have refused to give up on some of its key campaign pledges on tax cuts. If all goes well though, Poland could have a full government line-up by next weekend. In conceding defeat last night, Donald Tusk said he would be making sure Kaczynski’s government remained accountable. Kaczynski will be inaugurated in December. Until then he will be keeping a low profile while he rests after the campaign.