Andrzej Duda, who according to Sunday’s exit poll won the first round of the presidential ballot, has said that he will take part in a debate with his opponent Bronisław Komorowski ahead of the second round of voting on 24 May
Duda, who is backed by the parliamentary opposition Law and Justice, managed to gain 34.8 percent in Sunday’s election, according to an Ipsos exit poll. Incumbent Komorowski, who was the front-runner in opinion polls ahead of the ballot, came second with 32.2 percent.
“I would like to thank the president for inviting me to a debate, and I can now confirm my wish to take part in it,” Duda said, adding that his request for such a meeting was finally answered “after calls [to do so] for four months”.
Speaking to an enthused crowd at the Law and Justice headquarters in Warsaw, Duda said that there needed to be changes made to the presidential office, adding that he is “ready to enter into discussions with [third-place independent candidate] Paweł Kukiz,” whom he congratulated.
Duda also called for national harmony, saying that Poles should not be categorised into “better” or “worse” citizens and adding that “I deeply believe in the unity of our strong and proud nation”.
“We have a very difficult couple of weeks ahead, [tonight] is just a prelude of what is to come, and we need victory, but we must work for it,” Duda said.
Komorowski: election result a ‘warning’ for ruling party
Meanwhile, Bronisław Komorowski, who polled second in Sunday’s ballot, thanked voters for going to the polls on Sunday “regardless of whom they voted for”.
However, he told supporters that the result “can be read as a warning for the widely-understood ruling class,” a comment echoed by Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna on Sunday evening.
“We have to hear the voice of the electorate, because it can be seen that it is essential to not only mobilise […] rational and moderate Poles, but [we] also [need to] intensify efforts to regain faith in Polish democracy and its citizenry,” Komorowski said.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us, but I am sure that victory is in our reach,” the incumbent added.