President Andrzej Duda vetoed Law and Justice’s (PiS) recent law aimed at changing the European Parliament electoral system in Poland, saving the elections for smaller political groups such as Kukiz’15 and the PSL (peasant party).
The president explained that he never promised any changes to the European Parliament electoral system. He has committed himself to fulfilling his own election promises, however.
One of these is that “people should have as much to say in Poland as possible and that they should as democratically as possible decide about the political environment and how the political system is shaped and how they are represented in parliament.”
People in Poland should as democratically as possible decide about the political environment and how the political system is shaped
The new law would have increased effectively the election threshold from 5 percent to as much as 15 percent, denying voters of small groups representation in the European Parliament. Duda underlined that only two political parties would achieve this threshold – PiS and the opposition Civic Platform (PO), meaning even fewer people would have participated in elections.
We wanted strong representation, which would have had impact on decision-making and not fragmentation
“We respect the president’s decision but we’ll stick to our opinion. We believe that the elections are important and we wanted strong representation, which would have had impact on decision-making and not fragmentation. We will not be working on any more changes to the EU parliament electoral system,” Beata Mazurek, the spokeswoman of PiS wrote on twitter.
According to press reports, PiS has begun work on changes to the Sejm’s (Polish parliament) electoral system. The government would like constituencies to be smaller and chosen MPs to be more known in local communities.