Poland's President Andrzej Duda reportedly said as of May 7 that the country's presidential election will be held as soon as possible, as per reports. This comes after the ruling alliance agreed to postpone the elections scheduled for May 10.
Poland's ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party and a junior coalition partner reportedly announced that the presidential elections would be held at a time later to avert the ongoing political crisis. Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the powerful leader of the governing Law and Justice (PiS), wrote on the party's official Twitter handle that "the Speaker of Parliament will announce new presidential elections as soon as possible after the country's supreme court had declared the planned vote on May 10 void”. Further, Duda reportedly said that he welcomed the parties' agreement over postponing Poland’s election.
Critics indicated that the lack of democratic debate and an electoral campaign due to the coronavirus outbreak might win PiS-allied President Andrzej Duda near about 50 per cent votes in the first-round victory. However, it was argued that the free, fair, and safe ballot wasn’t possible at the time due to the pandemic restrictions and the crisis situation. Hence, there was mounting pressure from the opposition to postpone the ballot, a news agency report confirmed.
Earlier, the postponement was speculated as the preparations for the ballot were thrown into disarray by the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown just four days ahead, as per local media reports. The ruling conservative party and the opponents had a bitter row, however, neither sides could come up with an alternative as the immediate date for elections even now remains unclear. A government official in charge of electoral procedure was reported by the local media to have acknowledged that the election could not have been held — therefore, had to be postponed.
As per media reports, the ruling Law and Justice party have not made apparent to pass last-minute legislation for a postal vote, which at this time, would fail to amass majority votes. Party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski told the local news conference that the constitution required the vote be held in May. However, he said that he fears for President Duda, the front-runner in opinion polls, who could earn slander in reputation when the Polish economy is in shackles later due to COVID-19.
(Image credit: AP)