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Last Updated: Monday, 24 October 2005, 12:16 GMT 13:16 UK
Press hails Polish 'twin success'
Lech Kaczynski
Kaczynski celebrates election victory

Polish papers acknowledge the unexpected and decisive victory of Lech Kaczynski in the second round of Poland's presidential election. Most believe however that congratulations are due not only Lech, but also to his twin brother and fellow party leader, Jaroslaw.

"The Fourth Republic of the Kaczynskis," says the prominent Warsaw daily Gazeta Wyborcza in a front-page headline.

It refers to the stated aim of the conservative Law and Justice party to introduce a "moral renewal" and a return to Christian values - in effect, a "fourth" republic to replace the current so-called Third Republic.

"The Kaczynski brothers' team must take full responsibility for the next four years," one commentary says.

After all, it adds, they enjoyed the backing of the "extreme right and populists".

"It is therefore up to them not to allow these factions to ruin Poland."

The author believes this was an "undoubted success" of political forces suspicious of the free market and European institutions.

But, she hastens to add, it would be a bad thing if the next Polish government were "dominated by a party that fears modernity, Europe, tolerance and a market economy".

Law and Justice won most votes in September's parliamentary poll.

Wake

Other comment in Gazeta Wyborcza notes that the mood in the opposing camp of was one of mourning.

"Donald Tusk's election reception resembled a wake," the author says.

He adds that as a consequence, many in Mr Tusk's Civic Platform party are now calling for the Platform not to enter into a coalition, but to "form the strongest opposition in parliament".

Another major Warsaw daily, Rzeczpospolita, echoes the theme of a double win for the brothers.

"Twin success," reads one headline, adding that amidst the crowds at the Kaczynski HQ it was the foreign journalists who had the hardest time, as they are "unable to distinguish between Lech and Jaroslaw".

A separate article in the same paper notes that after the results were announced, Lech turned to brother Jaroslaw with the words: "Mr Chairman, mission accomplished!"

Rzeczpospolita carries an exclusive interview with the president-elect, who attributes his victory over Mr Tusk to the fact that he was more "focused".

"Another significant factor was my programme directed at the majority of society," he adds.

And asked whether he now feels more joy or apprehension over the burden of office, he replies: "Anyone in my position would be pleased. But nor am I the sort of person to shirk responsibility."

Aftermath

Other papers wonder what will happen next.

"Big personnel changes in the judiciary and the foreign ministry, a new constitution and the end of the Balcerowicz era is what we can expect from the new president," predicts Zycie Warszawy.

Lech Balcerowicz was the architect of Poland's post-communist "shock therapy", the reforms that paved the way to a market economy and EU membership.

Moreover, the paper believes, the fact that the president comes from the same party that won most seats in parliament means there should be no serious conflict between president and government.

But the weekly Wprost sees things differently.

"Lech Kaczynski won, but he also lost," the paper says, because the formation of a government coalition between the two centre-right parties now seems unlikely.

Unless that is, the Civic Platform of Donald Tusk "wants to commit a spectacular suicide".

True, it adds, Mr Kaczynski's party promised the voters "the earth", and will now be quite keen for the Platform to share responsibility.

"But if the Platform does enter a coalition, it will lose all credibility."

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.




SEE ALSO:
The press in Poland
29 Apr 04 |  Europe
Poland's election rivals
21 Oct 05 |  Europe
Q&A: Polish elections
23 Sep 05 |  Europe


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