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Polish president concedes election in shock defeat

Andrzej Duda of the Law and Justice Party Credit: REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

The president of Poland, Bronislaw Komorowski, has stepped down after an exit poll showed him losing to his conservative rival, Andrzej Duda by six points in Sunday's election.

Komorowski had originally been favourite to retain the position, but his defeat has reflected a desire among voters for new faces, and a sense that Poland's new-found prosperity was not being shared out equally.

43-year-old Duda's win is the first in nearly a decade for the Law and Justice party, which is socially conservative and close to the Catholic Church, but less friendly to business than the incumbent Civic Platform Party.

"I respect your choice," Komorowski told a gathering of supporters. "I wish my challenger a successful presidency."

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Poland: Russia's actions in Ukraine an 'aggression'

Poland's Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski has called Russia's actions in eastern Ukraine an "aggression" that has created the most serious security crisis in Europe in decades.

"This for sure is an aggression," Sikorski told state radio. "Poland's position will be worked out in the next couple of hours."

He said the need for "strong words" had passed and called for "actions of the whole international community".

Poland broke EU human rights laws with CIA rendition

The European Court of Human Rights has found that Poland violated the EU Convention on Human Rights by allowing the CIA to detain two al-Qaeda suspects on Polish territory.

The case was brought by two Saudi-born men who said they were flown in secret to a CIA-run jail in a Polish forest and subjected to treatment that amounted to torture.

Polish officials have denied the existence of the CIA jail. The US has acknowledged that it kept al-Qaeda suspects in facilities outside the US, but has not said where.

The EU court ruled that Poland violated articles around the prohibition of torture, the right to liberty and the right to an effective investigation of their allegations.

Poland has been ordered to pay the men 230,000 euros.

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