The Sound Kitchen

The closest elections in Poland since the end of communist rule

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This week on The Sound Kitchen, you’ll hear the answer to the question about the presidential poll in Poland – as well as a magnificent French accent that will bring a smile to your face. There’s new music from Gregory Porter, and of course, the new quiz question. Just click on the “Audio” arrow above and enjoy!

Sound Kitchen Podcast
Sound Kitchen Podcast RFI

Hello everyone! Welcome to The Sound Kitchen weekly podcast, published every Saturday – here on our website, or wherever you get your podcasts. You’ll hear the winners' names announced and the week’s quiz question, along with all the other ingredients you’ve grown accustomed to: your letters and essays, “On This Day”, quirky facts and news, interviews, and great music … so be sure and listen every week.

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This week’s quiz:  On 18 July, I asked you a question about Poland, who had just held its presidential poll. It was an incredibly tight race, in which the incumbent won – but by a very thin margin. It was the closest election in the country since the end of communist rule in 1989.

I asked you to write to me with the answers to five questions: the names of the two men who ran for the office of president in Poland; the name of the man who won; the percentage of votes each candidate won, and the voter turnout rate.

The answer is: The incumbent, who won the election, is Andrzej Duda. He won 51.03 percent of votes cast. His opponent was Rafal Trzaskowski, who is the mayor of Warsaw. He won 48.97 percent of votes cast. The voter turnout was 68.18 percent.

As I noted when I asked you the questions, it was probable that Trzaskowski’s party, the Civic Platform, would contest the election, on the grounds of irregularities: the most widespread irregularities were reported by the Polish diaspora, with tens of thousands of votes from abroad potentially left uncounted. But there were also reports of strange results in several nursing homes, which reported Duda winning 100 percent of the vote, as well as concerns about extra ballots sent to polling stations without proper documentation.

A formal complaint to Poland’s Supreme Court was lodged by the Civic Platform party. Their aim was not to overturn the result of the election, but to expose what they said was a pattern of political interference that marred the election, and to delay the certification of the vote long enough for it to be declared invalid.

No surprises there – legislation signed by Duda in 2017 gave the president more direct power over the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Duda’s ruling party, the Law and Justice Party, keeping it in power.

The winners are: Mohammad Likhon from the Nilshagor RFI Fan Club in Nilphamari, Bangladesh, and three RFI Listeners Club members: SJ Agboola from Ekiti State, Nigeria; Ralf Urbanczyk from Eisleben, Germany and Kanwar Sandhu from British Columbia, Canada. Last but not least: Arundhati Mukherjee from West Bengal, India.

Congratulations winners!

Here’s the music you heard on this week’s program: “Thank Heaven for Little Girls” from Gigi by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, sung by Maurice Chevalier; “Swing Valse” by Gus Viseur, performed by Baptiste Herbin and his ensemble; “The Flight of the Bumblebee” by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov; “If Love is Overrated” by Troy Miller and Gregory Porter, sung by Gregory Porter.

Do you have a musical request? Send it to

This week’s question ... You'll have to listen to the show to participate. You have until 5 October to enter this week's quiz; the winners will be announced on the 10 October podcast. When you enter, be sure you send your postal address in with your answer, and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

Send your answers to:


Susan Owensby

RFI – The Sound Kitchen

80, rue Camille Desmoulins

92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux



By text … You can also send your quiz answers to The Sound Kitchen mobile phone. Dial your country’s international access code, or “ + ”, then 33 6 31 12 96 82. Don’t forget to include your mailing address in your text – and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

To find out how you can win a special Sound Kitchen prize, click here

To find out how you can become a member of the RFI Listeners Club, or to form your own official RFI Club, click here


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