Poles are voting to elect the country’s president for the next five years.
Poland’s presidential elections on May 10 have a colorful cast of candidates whose antics are providing most of the drama, because there is little suspense about the result: incumbent President Bronislaw Komorowski expected to easily win a second term in office.
Opinion polls put Bronislaw Komorowski in the lead, but if no candidate wins more than 50% of the vote there will be a second round.
Bronislaw Komorowski took office in 2010 after his predecessor, Lech Kaczynski, died in a plane crash.
The president has limited powers, but is head of the armed forces and can veto new laws.
Bronislaw Komorowski, 62, is an independent allied with the centre-right Civic Platform, which has been in government since 2007.
His main challenger is Andrzej Duda, from the right-wing opposition Law and Justice party, which is led by former President Lech Kaczynski’s twin brother, Jaroslaw.
Rock musician Pawel Kukiz looks likely to gather protest votes, but has trailed the leading pair in opinion polls. Another eight candidates are standing.
During a period of tension with Russia over the unrest in Ukraine, President Bronislaw Komorowski says he has promoted stability.
The presidential vote comes ahead of parliamentary elections this autumn, and may give pointers to Civic Platform’s chances of retaining power.
If no candidate wins more than 50%, a second round will be held on May 24.
Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski was attacked with an egg by a Ukrainian man when he visited the site of a 1943 massacre of Poles in neighboring Ukraine on Sunday, police said.
The egg attack followed a move by the Polish parliament last week to recognize the massacre by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) during World War Two as “ethnic cleansing bearing the hallmarks of genocide”.
The move upset Ukrainian nationalists who view the UPA as heroes and freedom fighters.
On Sunday, Bronislaw Komorowski visited the western Volyn region and attended mass at a Catholic church.
President Bronislaw Komorowski was attacked with an egg by a Ukrainian man when he visited the site of a 1943 massacre of Poles in Ukraine
As he emerged from the church “a young man from the crowd tapped his shoulder with his hand in which he was holding a crushed egg”, police said in a statement.
The 21-year-old man, a resident of Ukraine s southern Zaporizhia region, has been detained and faces hooliganism charges and up to three years in prison, they said.
It was unclear whether the man belonged to any of Ukraine s nationalist groups, the largest of which, Svoboda (Freedom) won dozens of seats in parliament last year, becoming a major political force.
Svoboda has criticized the Polish parliament s decision but said it would not seek to disrupt Bronislaw Komorowski s visit.
The territory of Volyn was long disputed by Poland and Ukraine. Historians believe tens of thousands of people died in the massacre during the wartime Nazi occupation.
Seventy years later, public opinion in Ukraine remains split on the insurgent movements which co-operated with the Nazis in hope of driving out the Soviet government and creating an independent Ukrainian state.
In the last days of his presidency in 2010, former Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko awarded wartime nationalist leader Stepan Bandera the title “Hero of Ukraine”.
The award was annulled by a court under his successor, current President Viktor Yanukovich.
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