Twin brother of Poland’s late president Lech Kaczynski running in early presidential raceBy Monika Scislowska, AP
Monday, April 26, 2010
Late Poland president’s twin runs to replace him
WARSAW, Poland — Polish opposition party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski said Monday he will run in summer elections to replace his twin brother, the incumbent president who was killed in a plane crash.
Law and Justice party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski, 60, said he will run to continue the mission of his brother and others killed in the crash.
“The good of Poland is a common duty that requires an ability to overcome personal suffering, to undertake the task despite a personal tragedy,” Kaczynski said in a written statement.
“This is why I have taken the decision to run for the president of Poland. I have the family’s support in this decision,” said Kaczynski, who served as prime minister in 2006-2007.
The elections were moved up to June 20 after President Lech Kaczynski, his wife Maria and 94 others — including top civilian and military leaders — were killed April 10 in Smolensk, Russia, en route to World War II observances. They were to pay respect to some 22,000 Polish officers killed in 1940 by the Soviet secret security in the Katyn forest and in other places.
The president’s term was to expire in December and elections had been planned in the fall.
The incumbent had been expected to seek a second five-year term.
The brothers were in the past both members of anti-communist opposition and served as advisers to the Solidarity freedom movement in the 1980s.
Jaroslaw Kaczynski is not married. His closest family are his mother, Jadwiga, 83, and niece Marta, 30, the daughter of the late president.
Another candidate, Parliamentary Speaker Bronislaw Komorowski, is now acting president after automatically taking over the duties following the incumbent’s death. He is with the governing Civic Platform party and is currently the front-runner in the polls.
The third major figure in the race is Grzegorz Napieralski of the Democratic Left Alliance, who is running in the stead of Jerzy Szmajdzinski, who was killed in the same plane crash as Kaczynski.
If no candidate musters more then 50 percent of vote, a runoff will be held July 4.
Tags: Accidents, Eastern Europe, Europe, Holidays, Occasions, Poland, Transportation, Warsaw