President accuses EC head of arrogance over Italian election comments

In the Italian general election on Sunday, a right-wing bloc won 43 percent of the vote, with Meloni's Brothers of Italy getting more than 26 percent. Ettore Ferrari/PAP/EPA

Poland's president has hit out at the head of the European Commission (EC), Ursula von der Leyen, accusing her of arrogance over comments she made last week about the expected victory of a right-wing bloc led by Giorgia Meloni in Italy's parliamentary election.

In the Italian general election on Sunday, a right-wing bloc won 43 percent of the vote, with Meloni's Brothers of Italy getting more than 26 percent. The centre-left bloc received 21-22 percent. As a result, Meloni will likely become Italy's first woman prime minister.

Last Thursday, EC President Ursula von der Leyen was asked about the expected result during a debate at Princeton University, in the context of some of the candidates being "close" to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

She said of the Italian elections: "If things go in a difficult direction, I've spoken about Hungary and Poland, we have tools. My approach is that whatever democratic government is willing to work with us, we're working together."

Referring to Von der Leyen's statement on social media on Monday, Polish President Andrzej Duda wrote: "How much of a sense of superiority... arrogance and contempt for democratic rules does one have to have to say of the results of elections in another country, conducted by another nation: 'The wrong one won! They've chosen badly! That country and that government need to be seized by the throat!'?"