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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 June 2005, 16:02 GMT 17:02 UK
The twins who would lead Poland
By Adam Easton
BBC News, Warsaw

Jaroslaw and Lech Kaczynski
Spot the difference? Lech is the one on the right
Poland could find itself in the rather unusual position later this year of having identical twins as the country's new president and prime minister.

The Kaczynski brothers, Lech and Jaroslaw, are topping the opinion polls ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections later this year.

Lech is mayor of Warsaw and Jaroslaw heads the leading centre-right party.

But there is one question. If they are elected, will voters be able to tell them apart?

The 55-year-old brothers first found fame as child actors, with angelic faces in a film version of the popular children's book The Two That Stole The Moon.

It was a prescient title. Now the pair are running for the two top political jobs in the country.

But the short brothers, who have similar silver haircuts, lost their angelic look some time ago.

Now, they are more well known for their tough talk in the fight against crime and corruption.

Mr Cleans

Mayor Lech Kaczynski - the younger by 45 minutes - recently kicked off his presidential campaign with a TV ad that promised nothing less than a moral revolution.

Jaroslaw leads the poll-topping Law and Justice Party, so he is in line to become the next prime minister.

With the unpopular governing former communists mired in a string of sleaze cases, the clean-up message has struck a chord with the voters.

To avoid identical twin confusion, the pair very rarely appear together in public.

If elected, they will not be able to switch identities, as they did in high school when they used to take exams for each other.

You can tell them apart if you know what you are looking for. Lech has two distinctive moles on his cheek and nose.


SEE ALSO:
Polish PM seeks early elections
03 Mar 05 |  Europe
Polish PM keeps promise to quit
02 May 04 |  Europe
Country profile: Poland
13 Jun 04 |  Country profiles


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