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The two front runners in the election, Bronislaw Komorowski and Jaroslaw Kaczynski are way ahead of the other eight candidates in opinion polls. The winner will serve a five-year term as head of state.
Bronislaw Komorowski, the acting president and speaker of the lower chamber of the Polish parliament, remains ahead in the polls.
Komorowski was Polish Minister of National Defence from 2000 to 2001. From 2005 to 2007, he was a vice-marshal of the lower chamber of the parliament. In November 2007, he was elected the head of the low house of Poland's parliament.
Jaroslaw Kaczynski is running against Komorowski. He declared his candidacy in April, shortly after the death of his brother.
Kaczynski was Prime Minister from 2006 to 2007. He is the chairman of the Law and Justice party. After the 2007 electoral defeat, Kaczynski stepped down as prime minister.
Both candidates represent conservative parties, however they cut very different figures.
Trained as a historian, gently-spoken Komorowski is seen as a "safe pair of hands" and a predictable politician with a pragmatic stance towards foreign policy. He and his wife Anna have five grown-up children. His family values and his quiet style appeal to many voters.
His rival Kaczynski has made his mark as a combative leader. He has antagonized business and political elites at home and strained relations with the European Union, Germany and Russia. A bachelor, he lives with his mother, and a cat.
- Poland prepares to vote for new president 2010-06-20