Polish leader insists on May vote, even if delayed slightly

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s prime minister said Wednesday that the presidential election must be held in May despite the coronavirus pandemic to meet the requirements of the constitution.

Mateusz Morawiecki said, however, that the May 10 election date may be pushed back by a week or two.

“Constitutional experts say that the election is also possible on successive dates: May 17 or May 23,” Morawiecki said.

“We will be taking the decision in the nearest future,” he said.

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The ruling conservative Law and Justice party is pushing for the May vote by postal ballot only, driven by the fact that its candidate, President Andrzej Duda, is leading in opinion polls. It argues voting by mail is safe.

But it has also empowered the parliamentary speaker to alter the May 10 date.

The opposition wants the vote pushed back by a year or two, for social health reasons. All its candidates are trailing in opinion polls behind Duda.

With less than two weeks to the vote, the bill formally regulating procedures for the vote still hasn’t been adopted in parliament, raising questions about whether the election can be held as planned.

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