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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."

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".

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