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UPDATE: Polish deputy PM quits amid spat over election

06.04.2020 13:15
A Polish deputy prime minister has offered to resign amid a dispute over whether the country should hold a presidential election in the midst of a virus epidemic.
Jarosław Gowin.
Jarosław Gowin.Photo: PAP/Wojciech Olkuśnik

But Jarosław Gowin told a news conference on Monday that the conservative Agreement group of which he is leader would remain part of Poland’s governing right-wing coalition.

Gowin told reporters that, amid the COVID-19 crisis, Poland’s presidential elections, scheduled for May 10, should be postponed, while the authorities should focus on “battling the coronavirus epidemic and fighting for the Polish economy.”

Earlier, various opposition politicians had called for the country’s presidential election to be put off.

Meanwhile, a senior politician from the country’s ruling conservatives suggested on Thursday that Poland’s presidential ballot could be held by postal vote amid the coronavirus epidemic.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told lawmakers on Monday that Poland was “to a large extent still at the beginning of the fight” against the coronavirus.

He added that the COVID-19 epidemic was likely to peak in the country sometime in May or June.

A total of 4,201 people have tested positive for the COVID-19 disease in Poland, with 98 deaths from the coronavirus so far, officials said on Monday morning.

Gowin on Monday recommended Development Minister Jadwiga Emilewicz as his choice to replace him in his role as a deputy prime minister.

Gowin told a news conference that he was resigning as minister of science and higher education as well as quitting his government job as a deputy prime minister.


Source: PAP