Domestic Politics
15:54 3 June 2020
Post by: WBJ

Rescheduled presidential election on June 28

Rescheduled presidential election on June 28

Poland picked June 28 as a new date for the presidential election that was canceled in May amid the coronavirus pandemic, setting the stage for a short campaign that could weaken the country’s right-wing nationalist and populist government.

Planning for the election had plunged Poland into political turmoil after the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party abruptly called it off four days before the original May 10 date.

“I would like it very much if we could finally pick the head of state. It’s a matter of ... Polish statehood,” Elżbieta Witek, the speaker of the lower house (Sejm) of parliament, said in a televised speech announcing the new schedule on June 3.

For PiS, the election is vital to cementing its grip on power and making further progress on its conservative agenda. The incumbent Andrzej Duda, a PiS ally, is the frontrunner, although his lead has shrunk in recent days amid signs of economic contraction due to the coronavirus outbreak.

One public opinion poll has shown him losing to an opposition candidate in a second round of balloting, to be held on July 12 if no one wins more than 50 percent of the votes.

Running behind Duda are centrist Warsaw mayor Rafał Trzaskowski and an independent candidate – TV show host Szymon Hołownia.

PiS has a fragile majority in parliament and needs the president to rubber-stamp its legislative agenda, particularly its justice reforms that the European Union has said undermine democratic checks and balances.



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