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    Speaker Grodzki: “I am ready to temporarily take on the position of President”

    The political crisis surrounding the presidential elections in Poland continues. There are more and more rumours of illegal acquiring of signatures by the Civic Platform party for its new candidate, Rafał Trzaskowski. Today in the Warsaw City Hall, the Law and Justice party councilmen filed a report to the prosecution concerning the matter. The Speaker of the Senate, Tomasz Grodzki stated in an interview that if the new head of state is not elected by August 6th, he is willing to temporarily take on the position. The only problem being such procedure does not exactly have a legal leg to stand on.

    The ruling party would want the elections to take place as soon as possible, preferably on June 28th. However, the official date has not yet been announced, since the Senate, which is currently debating the amendments to the presidential elections’ bill, is conveying next week. President Duda, in the yesterday’s Q&A session, stated that if the new head of state isn’t chosen by August 6th it could have catastrophic consequences for the democratic system in Poland.

    “I ask all the political groups to keep the constitutional order so that we could have a new president after August 6th. Without the head of state, the full legislative order would be disrupted…”, stated the incumbent president Andrzej Duda.

    On the other hand, the Speaker of the Senate from the Civic Platform party, Tomasz Grodzki claims that he is ready to take on the position of president in case the elections are not conducted by August 6th.

    “If I wanted to run for president, I would run in the elections. If by any chance the elections are postponed after August 6th, then be it the Speaker of the Sejm, Ms. Witek or me, someone would hold the office for several or several dozen days. I can assure you, the image and prestige of the office would not be hurt by this”, stated Speaker Tomasz Grodzki.

    Although the constitution states that the Speaker of the Sejm can take on the duties of the president, and only in five cases, none of these conditions apply when the president’s term comes to an end naturally. The next in line would be the Speaker of the Senate, but the current situation does not allow for such a procedure to take place either.

    Meanwhile, the mayor of Warsaw and the Civic Coalition candidate for president began gathering the signatures required to run in the elections, although he will de facto be able to do that only after the elections are announced.

    “It’s an interesting technicality… Rafał Trzaskowski seems to be securing his running in the elections in case there is no time to gather signatures later. However, it is possible that there will be different election cards later and I don’t know if his supporters will be re-signing the cards or what, but one thing is certain – the National Electoral Commission should take a very close look into Trzaskowski’s signature”, columnist Krzysztof Karnkowski commented on the matter.

    The Act of the National Electoral Commission acknowledging that the elections did not take place on May 10th as they were originally supposed to has not yet been published. The new date for the elections is required to be announced in two weeks time following the publishing of the Act by the Speaker of the Sejm and the elections then need to take place within 60 days of the announcement being made.




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