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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Polish conservative leader sees presidential vote by end-June

28.05.2020 07:00
Poland must hold its presidential vote no later than June 28, the country’s conservative leader has said, amid a deepening standoff with the opposition over the date of the election.
Polish conservative leader Jarosław Kaczyński.
Polish conservative leader Jarosław Kaczyński.Photo: PAP/Mateusz Marek

The ballot was originally scheduled for May 10, but failed to go ahead amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed more than 1,000 lives in the country.

The new date for the vote remains uncertain, with parliamentary Speaker Elżbieta Witek expected to make the announcement.

"Our position is clear, shared: the elections will take place," Jarosław Kaczyński, head of the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party, said on Wednesday, at a joint news conference with the leaders of the junior partners in his ruling alliance.

"If there are any attempts to oppose this, then we will use all the means at the state's disposal to see to it that the law is followed," Kaczyński added.

The lower house of Poland’s parliament earlier this month approved plans to conduct the presidential election via a mixed system of postal and traditional in-person voting.

The legislation then went to the opposition-controlled upper house for further debate.

The ruling conservatives have accused the main opposition party of attempting to delay the election to aid its candidate's chances.

The opposition Civic Platform (PO) party in mid-May chose Warsaw Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski as its new pick for head of state.

In a major re-election campaign speech, incumbent President Andrzej Duda early this month summed up his five years in office and outlined his second-term vision for Poland.

Duda’s contenders in the presidential race include middle-of-the-road politician Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz, leader of the rural-based Polish People’s Party (PSL); leftist Robert Biedroń; far-right hopeful Krzysztof Bosak; and celebrity journalist Szymon Hołownia.

All these candidates and a few others earlier this month locked horns in a televised debate ahead of the presidential ballot.

(gs/pk)

Source: PAP, Reuters