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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Poland’s presidential elections by postal vote only?

02.04.2020 17:20
Amid a coronavirus epidemic, Poland’s presidential elections scheduled for May could be held by postal vote only, a senior politician from the country’s ruling conservatives suggested on Thursday.
Ryszard Terlecki
Ryszard Terlecki Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymański

Ryszard Terlecki, a deputy Speaker of the Sejm, the lower house of parliament, said: "People will be able to vote by post. They will not have to go to a polling station because there will be no polling stations."

Opposition politicians have called for the presidential ballot, scheduled for May 10, to be postponed.

They argue that election campaigning is restricted or has been made impossible by the coronavirus outbreak in Poland.

But members of the ruling Law and Justice party have accused the opposition of playing for time in the hope that the gap will narrow between incumbent conservative President Andrzej Duda, who is bidding for a second term, and his rivals.

Opposition presidential candidates are way behind Duda in the polls, recent surveys have shown.

Borys Budka, head of the opposition Civic Platform party, said on Thursday: "Anyone who proposes that elections should be held on May 10, regardless of their form, will have blood on their hands."

He claimed that Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of the ruling Law and Justice party, “wants to expose all those postmen, members of electoral commissions, to risk [of coronavirus infection] because he is terribly afraid of losing power.”

The Polish president has the power to veto legislation passed by parliament, meaning he can block government initiatives.

The Polish parliament is on Friday expected to debate a bill proposing that all citizens should be allowed to cast a postal vote in the May 10 elections.

A total of 2,692 people have tested positive for the COVID-19 disease in Poland, with 51 deaths from the coronavirus so far, officials said on Thursday afternoon.

(pk/gs)

Source: PAP