Although opinion polls saw him in the lead by at least 15%, Poland’s sitting President Bronislaw Komorowski did not emerge as the front-runner in today’s first round of Presidential elections. Instead, the winner is Andrzej Duda, a MEP from the conservative Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (Law and Justice) party who obtained 34.8% of the votes, 2.6% more than President Komorowski. There will be a run-off between the two candidates in the second round of the elections on 24 May.
For pro-lifers Mr. Duda’s surprise success is very good news. During the election campaign he clearly positioned himself as a defender both of the Right to Life and of marriage and the family. He opposed Poland’s accession to the Council of Europe’s controversial Istanbul Convention (controversial not because of its official purpose of preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, but because of its potential use as a Trojan horse to funnel gender ideology into Member State’s legislation) as well as the legalization of medically assisted procreation, which, as he is aware, is a slippery slope towards all kinds of human rights abuses such as surrogacy and trafficking. Mr. Komorowski, despite describing himself as a practising Catholic and pro-life candidate, showed much less profile on both issues, signing the cotroversial Convention into law. If Mr. Duda wins the second round of the elections, this would at last place a man with sound ethical principles atop an EU Member State. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for him.