Poland to hold presidential elections on June 28

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, June 4, 2020
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Poland will hold its presidential elections on June 28, with a run-off round two weeks later, Elzbieta Witek, speaker of the Polish Sejm (lower house of parliament), announced on Wednesday.

Witek said during a press conference that she had received no objections from the National Electoral Commission (PKW) against the proposed election date, and hoped that the election campaign will be fair and that all election activities will be carried out efficiently.

The elections, which were originally scheduled for May 10, did not take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown. The ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party was eager to let the voting go ahead by mail on the back of favorable polling numbers for incumbent President Andrzej Duda. A conflict with a minor coalition party, however, led to the delay.

Duda, a former MEP for the right-wing PiS, was polled to have over 50 percent support during the pandemic, while other candidates were unable to campaign on the ground due to the lockdown. A support rate of over 50 percent could normally hand him a second term without the need for a run-off election with any viable runner-up candidates.

However, poll results have tightened since, showing currently that Duda is heading for a second-round neck-and-neck contest. His main rival, polls show, is Mayor of Warsaw Rafal Trzaskowski, who is endorsed by the main opposition party Civic Platform. Trzaskowski replaced Malgorzata Kidawa-Blonska on May 15, after the party's original candidate tanked in opinion polls.

The newly announced elections will be held traditionally with optional postal voting. The PKW can, at the request of the country's health minister, mandate postal-only voting in districts where COVID-19 could cause health concerns.

Poland is one of the few countries in Europe where the curve of the pandemic has not been flattened. The Health Ministry confirmed by Wednesday a total of 24,545 COVID-19 cases in the country, with the death toll standing at 1,102.

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