“Pole Position” returns in lockdown Warsaw

Poland IN’s programme giving the Polish perspective is back, discussing the pandemic and the controversy over the holding of the Polish presidential election.

See full programme here.

“Pole Position” returns using skype. Agaton Koziński (Polska the Times) and Aleksandra Rybińska (Sieci) discuss how Poland is coping with the pandemic and the row about whether and how to postpone the presidential election.

Poland and the Pandemic

The Coronavirus pandemic has led to a lockdown in Poland. It actually came earlier in Poland than in many other countries and the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic has been slower in Poland than elsewhere.

But there are worries whether should the number of cases accelerate, the health service will be able to cope. Some argue that Poland has been testing too few people and that it has not got enough staff, supplies and equipment to deal with the spread of the virus. The people have on the whole accepted the restrictions and are complying with social distancing and quarantine regimes.

To vote or not to vote?

The government has announced a package of measures to help the economy ride out the storm. But political debate has focused less on these and more on the issue of the Presidential election going ahead.

The ruling party wants it to take place and has even changed the electoral code to allow postal voting for the over-60s and those in quarantine to be able to participate. The opposition argues that an election campaign in the middle of a health emergency is inappropriate and unfair on all the candidates except for the incumbent President Andrzej Duda.