Warsaw Mayor Gets Boost Before Dead-Heat Presidential Runoff

The mayor of Poland’s capital, who came second in Sunday’s first-round presidential ballot, received a boost before the July 12 run-off from the independent who finished behind him.

Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski is facing incumbent Andrzej Duda in the second-round, which will determine the fate of Poland’s five-year nationalist makeover. A member of a pro-European party, he must gather support from what he calls the “democratic opposition” to defeat Duda.

Szymon Holownia, a television personality without previous political experience who surprisingly won 14%, declared he would vote for Trzaskowski and held a 45 minute video conference with the mayor on Wednesday in which they agreed on a number of policy initiatives.

“I said how I will vote and I believe this debate will help many of my supporters make the right decision,” Holownia said after the chat on Facebook. His campaign manager and the chat’s host, Michal Kobosko, said that “at least two of the three main vote-getters” in the first election held “constructive talks.”

Trzaskowski won most bigger cities, while support for Holownia was solid both in urban areas and small towns after his platform focused on civil society, combating climate change and mending ties with the European Union, views close to Trzaskowski’s centrist agenda.

Opinion polls give Duda a razor-thin advantage over Trzaskowski after he won almost 44% in the first round. The incumbent is expected to scoop up votes from a right-wing, anti-EU candidate, while the mayor is seen getting the bulk of support from mainstream opposition contenders who didn’t make the cut for the runoff.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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