Pole Position on European reactions to Polish Presidential election

Pole Position is back for another edition discussing the Polish Presidential election and reactions to it from the EU with Aleksandra Rybińska (“Sieci”) and Agaton Koziński (“Polska Times").

See full programme here.

“The presidential election campaign is proceeding despite growing controversy over whether, how and when the poll is to take place. The incumbent President Andrzej Duda is well ahead of his opposition rivals. Most of them want to see the election postponed because of the pandemic. The ruling party and the president want them to go ahead if at all possible. It has been proposed that they should take place by a full absentee ballot by post in May. Time to organise the poll in that way is very tight as the legislation to make it possible is still making its way through Poland’s Parliament. Health minister Łukasz Szumowski has argued that the only safe date for these elections is in two years time, unless the election can be carried out by postal ballot.

The European Commission and the European Parliament have stuck their ore in. The Commission’s vice-president Vera Jourova has said that holding the election is questionable on legal and constitutional grounds. The European Parliament has condemned the draft legislation on postal balloting as being contrary to “European values”. But the problem in Poland is that the government could only stop the elections going ahead by introducing a state of emergency, something the EC is criticising Hungary for. And no one in Brussels has objected to Bavaria holding its elections by full absentee postal ballot in late March, right in the middle of the pandemic.”