WARSAW, October 24, 2005 ( – Lech Kaczynski, who as the mayor of Warsaw banned “gay pride” parades two years in a row, was elected as the country’s president yesterday.

Kaczynski, leader of the conservative Law and Justice Party (PiS), earned 54.5 percent of the vote to defeat fellow presidential contender Donald Tusk of the free market Civic Platform (PO), who won 45.5 percent. The two parties will form a centre-right cabinet in the coming week.

The conservative win in the country’s general election last month unseated a socialist-led government that has been in power since the fall of communism in 1989. The two victorious parties, described as centre-right, both campaigned on traditional conservative values. At the launch of the campaign, Kaczynski promised to be guided by Catholic principles that are opposed to moral and social liberalism.

In late September, co-leader of the PiS, Lech’s identical twin brother Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who was considered a leading contender for the country’s second-highest office as Prime Minister, decided to pull out of the race, conceding that the country’s 39-million voters were not ready for twin brothers to occupy the two most powerful posts in the nation. Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz was officially nominated as Prime Minister by outgoing President Aleksander Kwasniewski last week.

After his win Sunday, Kaczynski told reporters, “I don’t hide that I am against the European constitution project,” according to an AP report. During the campaign, he said his first foreign visit as president would be to the U.S.

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