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Presidential election on June 28. Potential run-off two weeks later

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gf
Źródło:
TVN24 News in English, PAP, Reuters
Comparison of the latest presidential polls conducted in May
Comparison of the latest presidential polls conducted in MayTVN24
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TVN24Comparison of the latest presidential polls conducted in May

The speaker of Poland's lower chamber of parliament, Elżbieta Witek, has scheduled presidential election for June 28. Initially, the vote was supposed to take place in May 10, but it was called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Should a run-off be necessary, it will take place two weeks later on July 12.

Poland will hold a presidential election on June 28, lower house of parliament speaker Elżbieta Witek said on Wednesday, setting a new date for a ballot initially planned for May 10. "PKW (National Electoral Commission) did not submit any remarks as to the electoral calendar, soon my resolution regarding the presidential election will be published in the Journal of Laws and the campaign will begin; I would like it to a fair competition," Witek said.

The ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) had tried to hold the election on May 10, as originally scheduled, using only postal ballots because of the coronavirus pandemic, but that plan collapsed, leaving the vote in limbo.

The new bill was adopted late on Monday by the opposition-dominated Senate, the upper chamber of parliament, which added several amendments. The legislation then returned to the lower house, which approved it on Tuesday allowing a delayed presidential election to go ahead using a mixture of postal and traditional voting. President Andrzej Duda ratified the law on Tuesday evening, paving the way for the Sejm speaker to announce a new date.

"I would like it very much if we could finally pick the head of state. It's a matter of... Polish statehood," Witek said in a televised speech announcing the new schedule.

For PiS, the election is vital to cementing its grip on power and making further progress on its conservative agenda. The incumbent Andrzej Duda, a PiS ally, is the frontrunner, although his lead has shrunk in recent days amid signs of economic contraction due to the coronavirus outbreak. One public opinion poll has shown him losing to an opposition candidate in a second round of balloting, to be held on July 12 if no one wins more than 50% of the votes.

Running behind Duda are centrist Warsaw mayor Rafal Trzaskowski and an independent candidate - TV show host Szymon Holownia. PiS has a fragile majority in parliament and needs the president to rubber stamp its legislative agenda, particularly its justice reforms that the European Union has said undermine democratic checks and balances.

Elżbieta Witek accused the opposition on Wednesday of obstructing the electoral process strictly for political gains. "Before May 10, Civic Platform, but also other opposition parties, had not been working on legislation, but rather on what to do to prevent the election from happening on time," she said.

Jan Grabiec of Civic Platform said the party was ready for the election despite complications created by the ruling party and the pressure it has been exerting over the electoral commission. "We are ready for the election, I'm certain that Rafał Trzaskowski (mayor of Warsaw - Civic Coalition's presidential candidate) will win them," he said. "We've witnessed a certain anxiousness on speaker Witek's part, and I'm not surprised, as everything seems to suggest that Andrzej Duda will lose this election," Grabiec added.

Autor:gf

Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP, Reuters

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