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Polish conservative Duda re-elected president

Nearly final results from Sunday’s presidential election runoff showed Duda, 48, on over 51%, giving him an unassailable lead over liberal Warsaw mayor Rafal Trzaskowski, who won almost 49% of the votes, the National Election Commission said.

Duda, allied with the ruling nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party, has painted himself as a guardian of traditional values and the generous Law and Justice (PiS) riling party welfare programmes that have transformed life for many poorer Poles.

However, he ran an acrimonious campaign laced with homophobic language, attacks on private media and accusations that his challenger Trzaskowski serves foreign interests instead of Poland’s.

Since the polls closed he has struck a more conciliatory tone, and on Monday he pleaded for unity in the deeply polarised country.

“Hold back as much as you can from unnecessary words… because words can hurt,” he told supporters. “Please, help me put Poland back together again.”

Trzaskowski, who had said he would repair Poland’s relations with Europe and use the presidential veto to block any legislation that would subvert democratic norms, said he thought PiS would not change direction.

“Unfortunately it seems like the other side has not learned lessons,” he said. We hear statements that the process of politicising the courts will be completed… unfortunately those in power do not want to reach out their hand to us,” he said in his concession speech.

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