Poland’s president leads election first round

Andrzej Duda gestures

Poland’s President Andrzej Duda came top in the first round of the country’s presidential election, partial results showed on Monday, but fell short of the overall majority needed to avoid what looks set to be a tight run-off vote on July 12.

The re-election of government ally Duda is crucial if the ruling nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party is to further implement its socially conservative agenda, including vowing to protect the traditional family.

The morning after the election, Duda said he will be a guardian of social values, including ensuring gay couples can’t adopt children, in an effort to convince the almost 7% of voters who voted for far-right Confederation candidate Krzysztof Bosak.

“We have many common values with Krzysztof Bosak,” Duda told Polish public radio. “We want the family to be respected in Poland, we want traditional values to be a strong spine that Polish society will lean on.”

Duda got 45.24% of the vote, according to results based on 87.2% of the total number of polling districts.

Liberal Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski, who is standing for the largest opposition party, the centrist Civic Platform (PO), came second with 28.92%.

Full election results are expected to be released by mid-week.

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