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President thanks Poles for voting in parliamentary election

16.10.2023 15:45
Poland’s president has thanked compatriots for voting in large numbers in Sunday’s parliamentary elections and said that the results of the vote should be announced by noon on Tuesday.
Polish President Andrzej Duda talks to reporters in Rome on Monday, October 16, 2023.
Polish President Andrzej Duda talks to reporters in Rome on Monday, October 16, 2023.KPRP/Marek Borawski

Andrzej Duda made the statement in Rome on Monday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

Poland's head of state was visiting the Italian capital and the Vatican, alongside First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda, for events to mark the 45th anniversary of the election of Polish Cardinal Karol Wojtyła as Pope John Paul II. 

The president said that Sunday’s parliamentary ballot “was really very important, and I am pleased we cast our votes.”

Duda stated: “Democracy in Poland is stable. I thank everyone for taking responsibility and for taking part in this big event, in yesterday’s parliamentary elections, which were a big success.”

He noted that voter turnout, at almost 73 percent, according to an updated exit poll, “was huge,” the biggest since Poland regained independence in 1989.

“I thank all my compatriots for casting their votes,” Duda added.

The president also thanked election officials for their work and noted there was no outside interference even though the ballot "took place at a time of war beyond our eastern border and a hybrid attack from Belarus.”

Duda said: “Hopefully by noon tomorrow, the National Electoral Commission will finish counting the votes and will be able to announce official results.”

After that happens, attention will turn to the procedure of appointing Poland’s new government, the PAP news agency reported.

Poland to appoint new government

Under the Polish constitution, the new parliament will convene for the first time within 30 days after the elections, by November 14, as the outgoing government will officially tender its resignation.

The head of state will then appoint a new prime minister, usually a politician designated by the party that won the parliamentary elections, the PAP news agency reported.

The president has 14 days to name and swear in the new Cabinet, which then has to secure the support of the absolute majority of MPs.

Otherwise the new Cabinet also tenders its resignation and the responsibility to name the new prime minister is taken up by lawmakers.

A new prime ministerial candidate can be put forward by a group of at least 46 MPs, and has to be approved by an absolute majority of the lower house within 14 days. 

If this deadline is not met, the initiative returns to the president, who has 14 days to appoint a new prime minister and his Cabinet. The lower house then has 14 days to back the new government, a step that requires only a simple majority, the PAP news agency reported.

If this third option also fails, the president has to call an early election, to be held within 45 days, according to officials.

Poland elects new parliament

Poland's governing conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, allied with two smaller groupings in a United Right coalition, won Sunday’s election, with 36.6 percent of the vote, but the opposition looked poised to form the new government, according to exit poll projections released on Monday morning.

The liberal opposition Civic Coalition (KO) finished in second place, with 31 percent, and the centre-right opposition Third Way alliance was third with 13.5 percent, according to the updated survey by pollster Ipsos.

The New Left party was fourth on 8.6 percent.

The far-right Confederation group, with 6.4 percent, also crossed the 5-percent voter support threshold that Polish parties need to clear to enter parliament, the updated exit poll indicated.

According to the poll, Law and Justice secured 198 seats in the Sejm, the lower house of parliament, compared with a combined 248 for the opposition.

The Civic Coalition looked set to have 161 seats in the lower house; the Third Way alliance was seen garnering 57 seats; and the New Left secured 30 seats, according to the survey.

The Confederation was expected to have 14 lawmakers in the 460-seat house.

The Non-Partisan Local Government Activists group received 2.4 percent of the vote, according to the late exit poll, and will not be represented in parliament, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.


Source: IAR, PAP, prezydent.pl