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Page last updated at 07:23 GMT, Wednesday, 21 April 2010 08:23 UK

Poland's snap presidential elections set for 20 June

Bronislaw Komorowski
Bronislaw Komorowski is widely seen as the main contender

Presidential elections to find a successor to Lech Kaczynski, who was killed in a plane crash, will be held in Poland on 20 June.

The poll date was set by acting President Bronislaw Komorowski, his spokesman said.

Mr Komorowski and the late president's twin brother, Jaroslaw, are expected to be the main candidates.

Lech Kaczynski and 95 other senior Polish officials died on 10 April when their plane crashed in western Russia.

Investigators believe pilot error caused the plane to hit treetops in heavy fog in the Smolensk region, where the Polish delegation had meant to attend a memorial for about 22,000 Poles massacred by Stalin's secret police at Katyn in World War II.

Last Sunday, Mr Kaczynski and his wife Maria were buried in a crypt of the historic Wawel Cathedral in Krakow after the state funeral.

Poll favourites

"Bronislaw Komorowski (the speaker of the lower house) has taken the decision to call elections for the president of the republic of Poland on 20 June," the parliament's press service said in a statement on Wednesday.

The coffins of the first couple arrive in Krakow
Lech Kaczynski and his wife were buried in Krakow's Wawel Cathedral

If no candidate gets at least 50% of the vote in the first round, a run-off will be held on 4 July.

Several opinion polls in Poland have shown that Mr Komorowski, who represents the centre-right Civic Platform party, is well ahead of potential challengers.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who leads the conservative Law and Justice party, is expected to be his closest rival if he decides to run for president, the polls show.



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