Opposition leader appeals for high election turnout

Budka encouraged support for Trzaskowski, who in his opinion promised "an open, smiling, tolerant and democratic" Poland. Andrzej Grygiel/PAP

Borys Budka, head of Poland's biggest opposition party Civic Platform (PO), on Wednesday appealed for a high voter turnout at the July 12 presidential election, in which incumbent President Andrzej Duda will stand against Rafał Trzaskowski from the PO-led Civic Coalition (KO).

Budka told voters in Radomsko, central Poland, that he wished the elections will tip the scales in favour of "a democratic and tolerant Poland," but observed that a high turnout at the vote was necessary as the final result was still open.

Budka criticised President Duda, calling him a "vice-president" to ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party head Jarosław Kaczyński, whom he described as the "real" head of state. Budka said that the Sunday vote will be a choice between a strong presidency based on community, democracy, the rule of law and European values, as proposed by Trzaskowski, and "people who have absolutely not grown up to the roles they have come to play."

Budka said Duda should have never become president as he lacked the necessary stability, proof of which were his recent controversial statements. He also encouraged support for Trzaskowski, who in his opinion promised "an open, smiling, tolerant and democratic" Poland.

PO politicians accompanying Budka said the Sunday vote, a run-off second round after a June 28 vote won by Duda failed to give him a sufficient majority, will decide about the country's future for many years to come.

Earlier on Wednesday Budka met with voters in the nearby localities Rawa Mazowiecka, Tomaszów Mazowiecki and Piotrków Trybunalski.