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Komorowski sworn in as Poland’s prez
Warsaw, Aug 6 (Agencies):
Published on 6 Aug. 2010 11:02 PM IST
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Bronislaw Komorowski has been sworn in as Poland’s new president, a month after his election victory. Mr Komorowski defeated Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the twin brother of the late President Lech Kaczynski, who was killed in a plane crash in April.
He will be the fourth president since the fall of communism, and wants closer relations with Germany and Russia. Correspondents say Mr Komorowski is seen as someone who will lead Poland into a period of political stability.
Under the constitution, the president has power of veto and the right to make key nominations. But most executive power rests with the cabinet. Mr Komorowski took the oath of office in front of MPs in the Polish parliament in the capital, Warsaw.
The 55-year-old father of five, who comes from an aristocratic family, became the fourth president since democracy was restored 20 years ago. A social conservative, he ran as the candidate of the centre-right governing party, Civic Platform, which supports the free market and is pro-European.
He won July’s run-off election against Mr Kaczynski, the leader of the conservative Law and Justice Party, by a smaller margin than had been expected - 53% to 47%. In the first speech of his five-year term, Komorowski pledged to work to help modernize Poland, promoting scientific research and working to improve the creaky state health system. The pro-European Union leader also said his first official trips abroad would be to Brussels, Paris and Berlin.
He also pledged to support an ongoing rapprochement with Russia, the huge eastern neighbor with which post-communist Poland’s relations have sometimes been tense. “There will be no stable development in our region without the cooperation of Russia,” Komorowski said.
He said that, despite the grief the plane crash unleashed, it also revealed the resilience of the young democracy only 20 years after it threw off communist rule. “Smolensk was our common tragedy and our common mourning,” he told a gathering that included both houses of parliament, Prime Minister Donald Tusk and his two surviving democratically elected predecessors, Lech Walesa and Aleksander Kwasniewski.
“It also showed us all that our society, constitution and democracy, can rise to such a situation,” Komorowski said. “The order which we have built over the last 20 years in Poland managed to maintain the continuity of power and to honor the memory of the victims with dignity.”
“It is my duty to remember those who died at Smolensk,” he said.
The most important of those missions is that in Afghanistan, which Komorowski has said he hopes to end in 2012.
He is a leading member of the governing party of Prime Minister Tusk, Civic Platform, which favors pro-business policies including further privatizations and harmonious relations with Brussels and EU neighbors such as Germany.
Many political observers hope that having a president and government from the same party will usher in domestic political calm and end bitterness between the government and president that marked the three years before Lech Kaczynski’s death.
Komorowski beat Kaczynski’s identical twin brother Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of the conservative Law and Justice party, in the presidential election last month.

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