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Poland election: clash of ideals in the election of the head of state by the voters

A woman voting in Warsaw - July 12th

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The Poles vote in presidential elections, which are seen as a struggle for the future of the country and its strained relations with the European Union.

In the second round, the acting ally of the conservative government, Andrzej Duda, will compete against the socially liberal Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski.

A Duda victory would introduce controversial changes in the judiciary and continue opposition to abortion and gay rights.

Mr. Trzaskowski supports a more progressive agenda and a more active role in the EU.

Mr. Duda led the first round with a convincing lead, but missed the 50% required to win directly.

But Mr. Trzaskowski expects to win the support of most of those who voted for other candidates, and a close result is predicted.

The surveys were opened at 7:00 AM local time (5:00 AM GMT) and closed at 9:00 PM.

The BBC̵

7;s Adam Easton, who reports from a polling station in Warsaw, says there is a steady stream of people arriving and putting on face masks to vote, but no sign of the long queues that started two weeks ago in the first round were seen in which the highest turnout was in 25 years.

President Duda is an ally of the ruling Nationalist Law and Justice Party (PiS), and if he loses, the opposition could make major changes in Polish politics.

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Mr. Duda hopes to further change the judiciary

The President has the power to veto legislation so that the re-election of Mr. Duda would benefit the PiS, of which he was a member.

He came under fire during the election, including a speech in which he said LGBT rights were an “ideology” that was more destructive than Communism.

On the last day of Friday’s election campaign, Mr. Duda said he would continue to strengthen the Polish state, “which builds on our sacrosanct tradition that is sacred to all of us and in which we have grown up for generations”.

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Media signaturePoland has been described as the worst country in the EU for LGBT rights

Mr. Trzaskowski is committed to healing cracks with the European Union.

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The liberal politician quickly got into the polls after joining the race in May. Previously, he was a member of the liberal government of Donald Tusk’s Citizens’ Platform and in 2018 won the capital’s race for the mayor, which promised “Warsaw for All”.

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Mr. Trzaskowski is committed to healing cracks with the EU

He said Polish voters would never have a chance to change direction in Poland again.

“Everything is in your hands,” he said on Friday. “This [electoral victory] is really at your fingertips. I want to say ‘now or never’ because this law and justice road roller will try to run over everything and the next election could be very difficult. “

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