The global pandemic is also giving rise to tensions in Polish politics. The opposition is demanding to postpone the presidential elections scheduled for May this year, and this statement is being echoed by more and more politicians from the ruling party.
Until recently, it seemed as if May 10th would definitely remain as the date for the presidential elections in Poland. However, there are more and more voices coming from the ruling Law and Justice party that the elections should be postponed. Current president Andrzej Duda, running for re-election, admitted himself in an interview last Saturday that in the face of the epidemic the date may change.
“But if the epidemic keeps spreading and we will be forced to keep the current discipline and limitations, I think the date of the elections may have to be moved. Nonetheless, I hope we will be able to hold the elections without any problems. I think it is important that the situation is stable first when it comes to the functioning of the state, power and system”, commented Duda.
According to the opposition, the recent changes to the Electoral Code made by the ruling party are an attempt to force the elections to take place on May 10th, whatever the cost. One of the main opponents of Andrzej Duda, Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska from the Civic Platform party, appealed to other candidates to boycott the elections. Later, she announced that she is suspending her campaign entirely.
Some of the other candidates had already appealed for the elections to be postponed. They haven’t joined the boycott, but they are demanding a different date for the elections.
“They dropped their masks. With the changes made during the night in the Sejm, the ruling party showed its true colours. They are not interested in the fight with the #coronavirus nor in saving Polish companies and places of employment. They are only interested in the political fight”, tweeted Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz, candidate of the Polish People’s Party.
Independent candidate Szymon Hołownia also took to Twitter to express his opinion on the matter:
“These elections should not take place on May 10th. A boycott is wavering citizens’ rights. It’s the authorities who should retreat from this madness and postpone the elections, not the citizens. We need to stand united on this, not give up separately. I was and I am ready to talk with other candidates”.
“We need to stop this pointless discussion about the elections. We need to stop the madness of Kaczyński who holds all the cards in the country today. Kaczyński will be responsible for every infection if the elections take place on May 10th“, Robert Biedroń, candidate of the Left, added on Twitter.
Today, the spokesman of the president, Błażej Spychalski informed that the decision on whether the elections will indeed take place on May 10th should be made after Easter. He also stated that there are no signs today suggesting that a state of emergency should be introduced in Poland.