October 10 - Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk claims victory for his second term after poll stations across the country close. Sophia Soo reports.
As the last few voters posted their ballots and election officials emptied the boxes in a Warsaw city centre school, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk claimed victory for his party. He is the first Polish PM, since the fall of communism more than 20 years ago, to rule for a second consecutive term. With 64 percent of the votes counted, Tusk's centre-right ruling Civic Platform party had won 37.5 percent of votes in Sunday's election, just short of an absolute majority. Soon after exit polls indicated a decisive win, Tusk swiftly claimed victory. (SOUNDBITE) (Polish) PRIME MINISTER AND LEADER OF CIVIC PLATFORM PARTY DONALD TUSK, SAYING: "I know that the next four years will be an even bigger challenge, because we will need to work these four years at double the pace, we will need to act with twice the speed. Firstly because Poles have the right to an even higher quality of life and to an even higher level of life." Nationalist-conservative Law and Justice part's leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski conceded defeat soon afterwards. (SOUNDBITE) (Polish) LAW AND JUSTICE LEADER JAROSLAW KACZYNSKI, SAYING: "A significant part of society, we still don't know how big exactly, has decided that the way things are right now is fine. We are keeping our position, our conviction, that Poland requires significant changes." Poland was the only EU member state not to sink into recession during the 2008-09 global economic crisis. Financial markets will welcome Tusk's victory, which points to four more years of relative political and economic stability in the European Union's largest eastern member state, at a time of deepening crisis in the euro zone. Sophia Soo, Reuters.