WARSAW ? Bronislaw Komorowski, head of the Polish lower house or Sejm, will take over presidential duties in line with the constitution after President Lech Kaczynski died in a plane crash on Saturday.
"Bronislaw Komorowski, the Marshal of the Sejm, is on his way to Warsaw from [the northern city of] Gdansk, where he was on Saturday morning," his office announced.
Kaczynski and other Polish officials died as their plane crashed during a landing in the western Russian city of Smolensk on Saturday morning.
They were due to attend ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of the WWII Soviet slaughter of 22,000 Polish officers in the nearby Katyn Forest and elsewhere in Russia and Ukraine.
Komorowski, a 57-year-old former anti-communist dissident from an aristocratic family, is the official candidate of the liberal Civic Platform (PO) for presidential elections scheduled for autumn.
He was expected to take on Kaczynski, representing the conservative right wing, who however had not officially announced his candidacy.
The Polish government was scheduled to hold an emergency meeting in Warsaw early Saturday afternoon, said government spokesman Pawel Gras.
Prime Minister Donald Tusk and other government ministers were on their way to the Polish capital, he added.