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Monday, April 26, 2010

Twin brother of dead Polish president to run for office .

The identical twin of the Polish president who was killed in a Russian air crash is attempting to fill his dead brother's shoes by announcing he will run for the presidency.

Matthew Day in Warsaw | 26 Apr 2010 - TELEGRAPH.CO.UK

Jaroslaw Kaczynski will stand as candidate for the conservative Law and Justice party in snap elections, called after President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others died when their aircraft crashed near the Russian city of Smolensk at the beginning of the month.

In his first public statement since the accident, 60-year-old Mr Kaczynski said despite his loss he had to follow in his brother's footsteps.

"Poland is our common, great responsibility. It demands that we overcome personal suffering to take action despite a personal tragedy," he said in a statement.

"This is why I have taken the decision to be a candidate for the office of president of the Republic of Poland. We need to complete the mission of victims of the catastrophe near Smolensk. We owe it to them, we owe it to our motherland. It is our duty to fulfil their will."

While some in Poland thought the crash might make Mr Kaczynski step out of the political limelight for a while, in reality neither he nor his party had much choice.

Along with claiming the life of the president, the Smolensk disaster also killed other leading Law and Justice politicians, leaving Mr Kaczynski as the last man with the name and the stature needed to stand in the elections scheduled for June 20.

Although Law and Justice, which was founded by the Kaczynski twins, has experienced a surge in support since the crash, Mr Kaczynski faces an uphill battle.

At the time of his death, his brother was getting ratings as low as 30 per cent, and Mr Kaczynski has often had a troubled relationship with the Polish public.

Famed for living with his mother, her cats and for long not having a bank account, a recent opinion poll found that the majority of Poles did not want him as president.