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Poles mark Independence Day with patriotic ceremonies

WARSAW, Poland (AP) – Poland’s president and other officials across the country are laying wreaths and joining other patriotic events on Independence Day, a holiday that has been overshadowed in recent years by marches organized by far-right nationalists.

Last year, for the 100-year anniversary of Polish independence, President Andrzej Duda and other top leaders marched ahead of the nationalists in Warsaw.

But they are not joining this year’s march on Monday afternoon.

Their previous participation was an attempt by the conservative ruling party, Law and Justice, to curry the favor of nationalists on the hard right in order to prevent them from forming a political party that would drain away some of its voters.

That strategy failed. In October, a far-right party called Confederation won 7% and entered parliament for the first time.

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