President pledges bold stance, demands respect for Poland

Duda said that democracy in Poland was becoming stronger and as proof named the high turnout in previous elections, which showed Poles felt increasingly involved in public life. Łukasz Gągulski/PAP

Re-election seeking President Andrzej Duda on Thursday told voters in Wieliczka, southern Poland that he aimed to pursue an ambitious and bold policy aimed to make Poland a respected country.

On July 12 Duda faces a second presidential election round against centrist rival Rafał Trzaskowski.

Duda said in Wieliczka that as president he wanted to pursue an "ambitious and bold" policy with the aim of winning respect for Poland, and assured that in his political dealings he was also guided by remembrance of Poland's historical path. He also pledged to defend Poland's good name whenever and as decisively as necessary.

"In the coming years I want to pursue an ambitious, bold, determined and dignified policy, (also in matters related to - PAP) Polish history as it really was, and with the demand that Poland and its good name are respected. I will defend this good name, if need be very determinedly, wherever it is necessary," the president said.

Duda said that democracy in Poland was becoming stronger, and as proof named the high turnout in previous elections, which showed Poles felt increasingly involved in public life. "This shows that we feel responsible for Polish affairs, that we want to take these affairs into our own hands and co-decide about the the shape of our country and who will govern it," Duda said.

Duda stressed that as president he was for a policy of equal opportunities, also in education and professional development, and that this was the kind of country he wanted Poland to be. Listing Poland's successes over recent years, he named the country's raised energy and military security, major economic investments and new welfare programmes, EU membership and close relations with the US.

He also emphasised the need for an ambitious economic and investment policy in Poland, but said that growth had to be evenly distributed in the country to prevent major cities from absorbing it at the cost of other regions.

Duda said that what is done today will determine what kind of Poland future generations will inherit, and stressed that he wanted to leave behind a strong and well-developed country.

"We must leave a strong, just and well-developed Poland. We must leave them a serious Polish state with its rightful place in the heart of Europe, which marches through history with its head held high, is able to support the weak and does not need to fear the strong," Duda stated.

He also thanked for his high support in the June 28 first election round, which he won over Trzaskowski and nine other candidates.