August 6, 2015 / 8:14 AM / in 2 years

Poland swears in opposition-backed Andrzej Duda as president

WARSAW (Reuters) - Andrzej Duda, a conservative lawyer backed by Poland’s main opposition party Law and Justice (PiS) was sworn in on Thursday as the country’s sixth president since its transition to communism in 1989.

Poland's President Elect Andrzej Duda takes the oath of office as his wife Agata Kornhauser-Duda looks on during the swearing-in ceremony in front of the Parliament in Warsaw, Poland August 6, 2015. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

In May, Duda won a surprise victory in the presidential ballot, defeating Bronislaw Komorowski, who was seeking reelection as the candidate of the ruling Civic Platform (PO) party.

Duda’s election pledges included cutting the retirement age, raising the tax-free income threshold and paying child benefits.

In Poland, it is the prime minister who has the most powers, but the president wields clout as head of the armed forces, has a say in foreign policy and the power to propose and veto legislation.

Reporting by Pawel Sobczak; Writing by Wiktor Szary; Editing by Marcin Goclowski

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