The Polish government’s effort to hold postal voting for the May 10 presidential election has been rejected by the Polish Senate, raising the political stakes in the country and casting uncertainty about when Poles would be able to elect their next president.
During the vote, 50 senators voted in favor of accepting the resolution to reject the postal voting bill, with 35 for the bill and one abstention.
The bill will now return to the lower chamber of parliament, the Sejm, where an absolute majority of votes is needed for it to pass.
The PiS government currently has 235 MPs, of which 18 belong to Jarosław Gowin’s Agreement party. The fate of the bill is unknown, as the Agreement party is divided on whether to support it or not.
The bill not only foresees the introduction of a postal voting system, it also gives the speaker of the Sejm the power to postpone the elections to a date foreseen by the constitution. This means that the presidential elections can take place no later than May 23.
Speaker of the Sejm Elżbieta Witek informed TVP Info that she has sent a notice to the National Electoral Commission (PKW) concerning holding the elections on May 10.
On Wednesday morning, she will send a notice to the Constitutional Court, inquiring whether postponing the elections would be in accordance with the Polish constitution.