The rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) for the functioning of democratic institutions in Poland, Azadeh Rojhan Gustafsson (Sweden, SOC) and Pieter Omtzigt (Netherlands, EPP/CD), have said they will closely follow the challenges to the election results for the Polish Senate.
“The election complaint process, including possible recounts, is an integral part of the electoral process. However, it is crucial that any election complaints are adjudicated, and perceived as being adjudicated, impartially and in line with European norms and standards,” they said.
“Both the Venice Commission and the European Commission have voiced serious questions about the perceived independence and impartiality of the new Chamber on Extraordinary Control and Public Affairs of the Supreme Court, which is responsible for hearing election-related appeals. The vulnerability of this institution to political interference and pressure is of serious concern.”
The two rapporteurs stressed the need for the utmost transparency and impartiality in the handling of the appeals, and said they stood ready to visit the country at short notice if warranted by developments. Their report on the functioning of democratic institutions in Poland is due to be presented at the January 2020 session of the Assembly.