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Poles prepare to choose their president

Poles prepare to choose their president
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Voters in Poland will today choose their next president in an election so close it may even be decided by the weather.

Just over 31 million electors have two options in front of them: on one hand the twin brother of the last president, killed in a plane crash in April, and on the other, the man the government wants elected so it can pass its reforms.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, a conservative former prime minister, started the campaign way behind in opinion polls. But he has benefited from a wave of sympathy since his brother’s shock death. His once-nationalist rhetoric has softened and he has almost caught up with his rival, the liberal Bronislaw Komorowski.

Komorowski represents the party of prime minister Donald Tusk and victory for him would make it easier for Tusk to pass his reforms. As Komorovski is a supporter of closer ties to Brussels, it would also make Poland more likely to join the euro currency.

Although Komorovski still leads in the polls, Kaczynski has the advantage of an older, more disciplined support base that is more likely to cast its ballots come rain or shine. And in this close contest, such margins may prove decisive.