Candidate supported by opposition wins mayoral elections in Rzeszów

Konrad Fijołek, candidate supported by the majority of opposition parties, became the mayor of Rzeszów, southeast Poland, in the first round of the early elections in the city, according to the official results announced by the Municipal Electoral Commission.

With a voter turnout of 54 percent, Mr Fijołek received 56.51 percent of votes. He defeated his competitors: Ewa Leniart, who recorded 23.62 percent, Marcin Warchoł (10.72 percent) and Grzegorz Braun (9.15 percent).

The voting closed at 9 PM on Sunday. The elections were required after the previous mayor, Tadeusz Ferenc, in office since 2002, resigned on February 10 after suffering with the coronavirus.

The elections, originally scheduled for May 9, were postponed due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new date was set for Sunday, June 13 and a possible second round on June 27.

Konrad Fijołek thanked all residents of Rzeszów who, as he said, took part in this "beautiful celebration of democracy". He also congratulated his opponents on the result and invited them to cooperate, assuring that "there would be no triumphalism on his part".

Opponents congratulate the winner

Supported by Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party Ewa Leniart congratulated the winner on taking the post of the Rzeszów Mayor, but also thanked her voters, saying that they brought colour to the electoral campaign. She also recalled numerous meetings with citizens and discussions about problems and the future of the city. Ms Leniart pointed out that these issues would be crucial for the new man in power to deal with.

Marcin Warchoł announced that as an MP from Rzeszów, he was ready to cooperate with Konrad Fijołek. He went on to say that he would monitor the actions of the new mayor and back the citizens “whenever they will get hurt”.

“I would like to thank all the Rzeszów inhabitants who, by their electoral act, decided to give an impulse for the city’s development, and, hopefully, an impulse for Poland,” said Grzegorz Braun.