DIGEST

Interim Polish leader Komorowski leads in presidential exit polls

Marta Kaczynska, daughter of late Polish president Lech Kaczynski, and her child are in attendance as her uncle, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, speaks after exit poll results from the runoff vote were announced.
Marta Kaczynska, daughter of late Polish president Lech Kaczynski, and her child are in attendance as her uncle, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, speaks after exit poll results from the runoff vote were announced. (Wojtek Radwanski/agence France-presse Via Getty Images)
Monday, July 5, 2010

POLAND

Komorowski leads in presidential exit polls

Interim Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski appeared to have held off a last-minute surge from the identical twin brother of the late president, who died in an April plane crash that shocked the country and forced Sunday's early election.

Exit polls showed Komorowski with a slight edge over Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who essentially conceded defeat in the presidential runoff by declaring before supporters, "I congratulate the winner." Exit polls have a small margin of error, and official results are not expected until Monday.

Komorowski addressed a jubilant crowd of party members in Warsaw. He didn't formally claim victory, noting that the votes were still being counted, but expressed optimism that he would be the next president.

Both presidential candidates are former anti-communist activists with conservative, Roman Catholic upbringings. Yet they differ sharply on key issues, primarily the role of the state in the economy.

Komorowski would be expected to smooth the way for the government to continue privatizing state-run firms and trim welfare benefits; Kaczynski would probably block such moves.

-- Associated Press

FRANCE

Junior ministers quit in spending scandal

Two junior government ministers resigned Sunday after scandals involving spending state money on a private jet and cigars worth thousands of euros -- all while France is struggling to bring down its deficit.

Alain Joyandet, secretary of state for cooperation, and Christian Blanc, in charge of a sweeping development plan for Paris, submitted their resignations to President Nicolas Sarkozy, the president's office said Sunday.


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