Poland will bring forward presidential elections this year after the death of President Lech Kaczynski in a plane crash in western Russia, Saturday morning.
Poland’s constitution states that a date for the elections must be named within two weeks of the death of a head of state, and then the ballot must occur within 60 days. That means that the election – originally scheduled for the autumn must now take place no later than June 20.
Parliamentary Speaker Bronislaw Komorowski automatically takes over as acting head of state until election day. Komorowski is also one of the candidates who will run in the elections.
In a press conference, Komorowski said that Poland will now enter a week-long period of national mourning, after the plane crash in Smolensk, western Russia killed President Kaczynski, his wife Maria and many of Poland post-Solidarity trade union political and military elite.