Polish nationals to vote at their presidential election in St. Petersburg

Other News Materials 20 June 2010 09:24 (UTC +04:00)

A polling station where Polish nationals can vote in the country's presidential election opens on Sunday in the Polish consulate general in the northern Russian city of St. Petersburg, an election commission official said.

"The polling station will work from 6 a.m. [2 GMT] to 8 p.m. [16 GMT] Moscow time," the official said, adding that some 300 Poles are expected to vote.

Poland will hold an early presidential election Sunday. The country's nationals will elect a new head of state following President Lech Kaczynski's death in an air crash in April.

Acting president Bronislaw Komorowski is now the strongest of 10 candidates with 41% of support. The late president's brother, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, goes second.

Komorowski became acting president after a host of senior Polish official including Lech Kaczynski died in western Russia on April 10 when the Soviet-made presidential Tu-154 crashed near the city of Smolensk.

The delegation was on its way to a ceremony to pay tribute to the some 20,000 Polish POWs killed by Soviet secret police during World War II in the Katyn forest in western Russia.

Russia's sincere reaction of sympathy after the crash partly made up for a coldness in bilateral relations and moved the countries closer to each other.

Komorowski said Friday that Poland and Russia can and should take new steps toward reconciliation.

He told RIA Novosti he had "already agreed with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev about his possible visit to Warsaw after the end of the presidential election in Poland."

Komorowski also said most Poles support the government's policy "on this difficult path" towards reconciliation with Russia.

He noted that the process of reconciliation kicked off when Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visited Poland last September to take part in the memorial events marking the beginning of World War Two.