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COVID-19: New date for Polish election should be decided by consensus, say co-rapporteurs

Empty Warsaw street

PACE’s co-rapporteurs on the functioning of democratic institutions in Poland, Pieter Omtzigt (Netherlands, EPP/CD) and Azadeh Rojhan Gustafsson (Sweden, SOC), have taken note of the de facto last-minute cancellation of the Presidential election in Poland, due to take place on 10 May 2020.

While regretting the manner in which the election was cancelled, they emphasised that this could now open an opportunity for a Presidential election based on a meaningful campaign and a level playing field for all contestants, key elements for its legitimacy.

“It is now essential that the new election is called in a manner that fully respects Polish legislation, as well as international standards for democratic elections. The new date should be set by consensus following full consultation of all political stakeholders, and in such a way that a real and meaningful election campaign can take place, even under the conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic,” they said.

“We encourage all political forces in Poland to work together in good faith to ensure that the election is conducted in a genuinely democratic fashion so that the result is fully trusted by the Polish people,” said the two co-rapporteurs.