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The Warsaw Voice » Comments » January 13, 2010
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From the NEWS editor
January 13, 2010   
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Amid a chilly start to the new year, the race for the presidency is heating up ahead of what will likely prove to be the biggest political event of 2010. The presidential elections in the fall could see the Civic Platform (PO) strengthen its grip on power to a degree that no other party in Poland has managed over the past two decades. All the signs are that the incumbent president, Lech Kaczyński, hailing from the opposition Law and Justice (PiS) party chaired by his twin brother Jarosław, stands no chance of being reelected.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk looks a dead cert to take over as head of state. Admittedly, Tusk has not yet officially announced that he will run and some members of his Civic Platform have been openly saying that the PO, which is way ahead in the polls, may put forward another candidate, such as Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski or Bronisław Komorowski, the speaker of the lower house of parliament. Still, few believe that Tusk would want to miss an opportunity to make up for his unexpected defeat at the hands of Lech Kaczyński in the 2005 presidential elections. The high-profile political head-to-head between Tusk and Kaczyński looks certain to eclipse the election campaigns of other candidates, including those of left-winger Jerzy Szmajdziński, a long-standing senior Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) politician, and Andrzej Olechowski, backed by the Democratic Party (SD), who was foreign and finance minister in several governments during the 1990s.

The Polish economy is still performing surprisingly well amid the global crisis. According to most forecasts, it will grow faster this year than last and continue to outperform the economies of other EU member states in terms of growth. Experts from the European Commission, the OECD, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Monetary Fund all agree that the main economic indicators, such as GDP growth (up to 2.5 percent), inflation, the budget deficit, exchange rates and the unemployment rate (below 10 percent) provide grounds for optimism in Poland this year and in the longer term. Analysts and employers' organizations also take this view.
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