Mr. Andrzej Duda, hailing from the main opposition, conservative party Law and Justice (PiS) was sworn in as President of Poland in front of the National Assembly on Thursday.
President Andrzej Duda won presidential election May 24, beating incumbent Bronislaw Komorowski in the run-off vote 51.55% to 48.45%. Duda came out ahead in the first round on May 10 to everyone's surprise with 34.76% of the vote, ahead of Komorowski who earned 33.77%.
Among Duda’s key campaign positions was criticizing Komorowski and PO for accommodating the EU too much, resulting in Polish assets being bought up by western Europeans and millions of Polish workers leaving for Western Europe.
Mr. Andrzej Duda comes to office having issued a long list of spending promises to a variety of electorates. President A. Duda has vowed to work for a hefty increase in the standardized tax-free income to PLN 8,000 annually, a per-child subsidy, lowering the retirement age to 60 years for women and 65 for men and conversion of FX-denominated mortgages at the FX rate from their issuance. After taking the oath the new president proceeded to reiterate his full set of campaign vows as priorities for his term.
"I am aware of the promises that I made," President A. Duda said in a short speech. "They are not difficult to fulfill." The Polish government need only to start fixing the country’s economy to fund lower retirement age and an increased standardized tax deduction, president Duda said.
"Don't listen to those saying that Poland cannot lower retirement age or that standardized deduction cannot be raised and the budget will collapse; this is nonsense," he said. "It's enough to start fixing the Polish economy and the money can be found immediately within this system."
Finance Minister Mateusz Szczurek said Thursday that increasing the standardized deduction to PLN 8,000 would cost the public finance sector PLN 20 billion and cannot be introduced in 2016.
President A. Duda also expressed readiness and hope for good cooperation with the parliament and the government. Calling out the need to "rebuild the sense of community," Duda appealed for mutual respect between "people of different views, world views, believers and unbelievers."
The new president also mentioned his chief foreign policy goals and other initiatives, including closer cooperation with Poles abroad.
Prime Minister Mrs. Ewa Kopacz expressed openness to cooperation with the new president and asked him to preside a cabinet meeting at which the government's plans for the coming months could be presented.
Source: The Warsaw Voice