Incumbent President Andrzej Duda and opposition-backed candidate Rafal Trzaskowski tied in a final poll on Friday ahead of Poland’s run-off presidential election on Sunday.
The poll, conducted by IBRiS for internet publication Onet.pl, confirmed a dead beat between the two candidates, a trend since the first-round election on June 28.
The poll showed Trzaskowski, the mayor of Warsaw and a candidate of the main opposition party Civic Platform (PO), at 47.4 per cent support, followed by Duda at 45.7 per cent.
“We need to read this result as a tie,” IBRiS director Marcin Duma told Onet. Seven percent are still undecided, the poll found.
Starting Friday midnight, polls are no longer allowed to be published and voter agitation is forbidden until polling stations close on Sunday evening.
Duda, supported by the conservative Law and Justice party seeking a second five-year term, won the first round with 43.5 per cent of the vote, followed by Trzaskowski with 30.5 per cent.
The turnout in the first round reached 64.4 per cent, which was considered high by Polish standards.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
France to push for rights sanctions in EU recovery plan – Minister
France will push for financial sanctions under the EU’s 750 billion euro ($880 billion) coronavirus recovery fund against states that undermine fundamental human rights, its junior European Affairs Minister told the Financial Times newspaper.
“We can’t tell (French, Polish, Hungarian and European) citizens that (we) can have financial solidarity in Europe and not care how the basic rules of democracy, free media and equal rights are respected,’’ Clement Beaune said in an interview published late on Sunday.
The European Union is struggling to respond to what many in Western Europe see as creeping authoritarianism on its eastern flank.
The European Commission, EU lawmakers and activists have said freedoms are notably under threat in Poland and Hungary.
Beaune told the newspaper that the EU must be tougher on breaches by those countries.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
Poland sees new daily record of COVID-19 cases
The country officially had a total of 45,013 confirmed cases, with 1,709 deaths since March, when the first patient was diagnosed.
The previous daily record of 599 new infections was marked on May 12. Poland has lifted most lockdown restrictions.
Roundup: Xi’s proposals at AIIB meeting win acclaims from experts worldwide
Experts worldwide spoke highly of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s proposals made at the fifth annual meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), expressing the belief that the bank will boost common development and become a new paradigm of multilateral cooperation.
When addressing via video link the opening ceremony of the meeting, Xi called for making the AIIB a new platform that promotes development for all its members and facilitates the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
He called for efforts to make the AIIB a new type of multilateral development bank that promotes development across the world, a new type of development platform progressing with the times, a new type of high-performance institution for international cooperation and a new paradigm of multilateral cooperation.
“I fully support the four suggestions that President Xi mentioned in his speech,” said Sylwester Szafarz, former consul general of Poland in the Chinese city of Shanghai. “These suggestions can help solve and overcome existing global problems.”
“I believe that all the member states of the AIIB including Poland will firmly support these proposals, and strive to successfully implement these proposals on a global scale and put them into practice, so that the AIIB will play a more important role in future international multilateral cooperation,” Szafarz said.
China has set an example in promoting world economic growth by upholding multilateralism and the spirit of openness, cooperation and win-win, said Maher Saad Al-Hag, executive manager of Omani newspaper Alwatan, citing the AIIB as an example.
As Xi has pointed out in his speech, the AIIB should focus on shared development, be bold in breaking new ground and innovation, and uphold openness, inclusiveness and multilateralism, so as to seek common development of all countries, said Wichai Kinchong Choi, senior vice president of Kasikornbank, one of the largest banking groups in Thailand.
Since its establishment, the AIIB has scored remarkable achievements by backing infrastructure projects in the region and made important contributions to the sound development of the Asian economy, the vice president added.
Tuesday’s meeting comes at a time when the world is grappling with a pandemic that has undermined global economic growth, said Cavince Adhere, a Kenyan researcher on China-Africa relations.
The AIIB has proven to be a veritable multilateral financial platform to empower socio-economic transformation of its signatories through offering financing alternatives to them, he said, adding that the bank should develop innovative financial packages that can drive sustainable infrastructure development in regions like Africa.
Waleed Gaballah, a professor of financial and economic jurisdictions at Cairo University, told Xinhua that Xi’s speech emphasized the principles of multilateralism and common development based on win-win cooperation as the AIIB will enlarge the scope of globe cooperation.
The AIIB is “aimed at creating a funding framework for partnership projects between China and other countries,” he noted.
Multilateral organizations like the AIIB are of vital importance especially for underdeveloped countries, which could take the opportunity to further enhance their development of infrastructure, manufacturing and agricultural industry, as well as achieve common development with the rest of the world, said Costantinos Bt. Costantinos, professor of public policy at Addis Ababa University.
For African countries, joining the AIIB also provides a crucial opportunity for them to narrow their development gap with other countries, he added.
Olga Drobotiuk, director of the Boris Kurtz Institute of Contemporary Chinese Studies in Kiev, said that under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, the AIIB has played a key role in promoting its members’ development in a wide range of areas including finance, healthcare and infrastructure, created plenty of job opportunities and made great contributions to improving people’s livelihood.
The AIIB, which has become a new multilateral platform of cooperation with global influence, is critical to bolstering world economic recovery and common development, the expert added.
Hungary ranks 19th among EU countries in competitiveness report
Hungary is placed 19th in a ranking of European Union (EU) countries in terms of competitiveness, according to the latest competitiveness report by Hungarian central bank MNB, published here on Tuesday.
“Hungary finished 19th among the EU countries in the competitiveness ranking of MNB with 47.4 points, which is slightly higher than the average of the other Visegrad countries (46.7 points),” MNB said in a statement.
The Visegrad countries include Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Hungary’s ranking is, however, 4.5 points lower than the EU average, according to the report.
The report places the Scandinavian countries and the Netherlands at the top.
From the region of Central and Eastern Europe, Slovenia (53.1 points) and Estonia (52.5 points) scored the highest, while the other countries in the region lagged behind the EU average.
MNB added that the report examined 154 indicators — such as debt rates, investment rates, wealth of households, training and education of adults etc. — in 12 areas, 95 percent of which are objective. The analysis is based on 2019 data and therefore does not reflect the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
As the report shows, Hungary has made significant progress in a number of areas, but there is still room for strengthening its competitiveness, including in the areas of the productivity of small and medium-sized enterprises, or the sectors of health and education.