Largest opposition party presidential candidate suspends campaign, calls for boycott

I hereby suspend my campaign completely, the presidential elections on May 10, 2020 should not take place, but if they happen, I appeal to all voters not to participate in them, announced Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska, the candidate of the Civic Coalition for the Polish President post and the Deputy Speaker of the Sejm (Lower House).

She declared that for the time being, she would focus on tasks related to her duties as an MP.

In an open letter that was published on social media, Ms Kidawa-Błońska addresses "all candidates for the office of the President of the Republic of Poland".

"As a nation, as a community, we are facing a danger unprecedented in recent history. The life, health and well-being of Poles are at risk and currently there is no other task than to tackle the coronavirus and its effects," she wrote, adding that “elections should be held when the health of citizens is safeguarded.

"You must not put human life in danger - everyone should agree with this principle. However, if the rulers remain adamant on that matter, they must know that they will take full responsibility for the terrible effects of such a decision on the life and health of citizens," the Deputy Sejm Speaker pointed out.

The view of Małgorzata Kidawa- Błońska is shared by the Mayor of Sosnowiec in southern Poland, Arkadiusz Chęciński.

"Do not do this to Poles! I think that the most important thing at the moment is that as many of us in full health as possible can vote at another time", he wrote.

According to Mr Chęciński, the presidential election announced for May 10 "is a matter of life and death for all Poles.”

“For PiS - political life and death, and for Poles life and death in reality,” he wrote, drawing attention to the fact that the overwhelming majority of precinct electoral commissions are organised in kindergartens and schools, i.e. in places that were the first to be closed to protect citizens from the spread of the virus.

Opinions similar to those of the Sosnowiec Mayor have been voiced by other representatives of local authorities, who in the close future have to begin preparations for organising the elections, including the training for the electoral committees’ members.

Election date may be impossible to meet: President

If the coronavirus epidemic continues to rage and current restrictions are continued, then it may be impossible to hold the presidential election on May 10, President Andrzej Duda said on Saturday evening.

“Elections are a very important event, because elections ensure the continuity of state powers, therefore they are vital”, President Duda said on the public news station TVP Info, adding that the constitution determines the presidential term and it "clearly states the term is five years."

He said that the election date had been set for May 10, but no one really knows what will happen on that date.

"I said I hoped that after the Easter holidays the situation would calm down and that we would return to a normal life and, of course, I do hope the proper conditions will exist to hold the election," said the president.

On Saturday morning, the Sejm adopted the bills concerning the anti-crisis shield, which are designed to support the health service in combating the coronavirus epidemic and to offset its negative effects on the economy. The amendments included one proposed by the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) to the Electoral Code, enabling postal voting for those in quarantine and those over 60 years of age. Civic Platform MPs declared that they intend to force the withdrawal of this last amendment in the Senate, in which they have a majority, as they are demanding that the elections are postponed.

PiS spokeswoman Anita Czerwińska pointed out that an amendment to the Electoral Code was necessary to allow all citizens to exercise their constitutional electoral rights in all possible elections in the currently emerging "special" situation.