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Poland to hold parliamentary election on October 15: president

08.08.2023 16:30
Poland will hold a parliamentary election on October 15, President Andrzej Duda announced on Tuesday.
Photo:PAP/Darek Delmanowicz

"I have decided to order that the election be held on October 15, 2023," the president said on the X social media platform, formerly known as Twitter.

He added: "Poland's future is a matter for each of us. Use your rights."

Polish political parties gear up for elections

Poland’s governing conservatives in March launched an effort to win a third consecutive term in power, starting a nationwide tour to rally voters ahead of the elections and promising a raft of new policies “to make Poland stronger and secure.”

Meanwhile, the opposition appears to be set to enter the parliamentary election race divided into three separate blocs.

Two Polish opposition groupings, Poland 2050 and the rural-based Polish People’s Party (PSL), at the weekend reaffirmed their coalition agreement ahead of the elections, aiming to offer voters an alternative to the existing political options.

In February, Poland’s four main opposition parties, including Poland 2050 and the PSL, agreed to join forces in the race for the Senate, the upper house.

Donald Tuskthe former prime minister who heads Poland’s largest opposition party, the Civic Platform (PO), in January called for greater public scrutiny of election rules to avoid cases of "manipulation and fraud" in this year's parliamentary vote.

The ruling conservatives in 2019 won a convincing victory over opposition parties at the ballot box, securing a second term in power.

They maintained a majority in the 460-seat lower house, but narrowly lost control of the 100-seat upper house, the Senate.

The upper house is less powerful than the lower chamber, but it can delay or amend legislation. The Sejm, the lower house, needs to muster an absolute majority to override Senate amendments.

Bid to increase turnout

The Polish president in March approved changes to electoral law that officials say aim to bring polling stations closer to voters and increase turnout.

Under the new rulesdrawn up by Poland’s ruling conservatives, municipalities without a well-developed mass transit system will need to provide voters with free transport to polling stations on election day.

Voters with disabilities and those aged 60 and older will be entitled to a free door-to-door transport service, bringing them from their homes to polling stations, according to officials.

The measure will also increase the number of polling stations nationwide by about 6,000, state news agency PAP reported.

All these new rules are expected to increase voter turnout, officials have told reporters.

The new regulations also include the creation of a Central Electoral Register, the PAP news agency reported.


Source: IAR, PAP