The Polish Senate on May 5 debated legislation that would allow a presidential election scheduled for May 10 to be held entirely by postal ballot. The Senate rejected the government's proposal to hold the presidential election through postal ballot citing concerns over the fairness of the process. The opposition holds the majority in the Senate, which is the upper house of the Polish parliament. The draft law is scheduled for a vote in the Sejm, the lower house of the parliament, where the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party holds a fragile majority.
Even though the lower house has the final say, the ruling PiS may still lose the vote later this week as some members of its conservative coalition have expressed opposition to postal voting because of health concerns due to coronavirus outbreak. The PiS nominated parliament speaker, Elzbieta Witek said she would ask the Constitutional Tribunal if the election could be postponed, which is also the party's preferred course of action if the legislation is rejected in the lower house.
Poland's right-wing government had announced that its May 10 election will be held by post in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus. The country's ruling PiS party faced a lot of criticism from the opposition parties, human rights officials, international organizations for announcing to conduct elections by post, which they say may not be free and fair. Many in the country have called voters to boycott the election if it is held via postal ballots.
Poland had extended the closure of schools in the country until May 24, which was earlier scheduled until April 26. According to reports, restrictions for air and rail transport have also been extended in the country. According to data by worldometer, Poland has recorded over 14,400 confirmed coronavirus cases, of which 716 people have lost their lives.
(Image Credit: AP)