In Poland, the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party is pushing ahead with plans to hold the country's Presidential elections on 10th May, in spite of the public health risk with the current coronavirus pandemic. On Saturday, the government pushed changes to the electoral code through parliament to allow the election to go ahead. Incumbent President Andrzej Duda is supported by the PiS party.
Terry Reintke MEP, Greens/EFA spokesperson on Poland and Member of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee in the European Parliament, comments:
“By fast tracking an electoral reform that will already take effect for the Presidential elections in May, the nationalist Polish government is attempting to solidify its own position in this election. Instead of this attack on the rule of law and democracy, the opposition's proposal to postpone the election should be made possible due to the measures taken facing the outbreak of the Coronavirus. The European Commission cannot stay silent when basic democratic rules are being undermined and should stand up for the rights enshrined in the Polish constitution and in EU treaties.”
The changes to the electoral code will allow postal voting for older voters and those in isolation from the virus.
The constitutional court had ruled in 2006 that changes to the electoral law would not be permitted within six months of an election.