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Poland Polich opposition Presidential elections Tomasz Grodzki Commentary

Polish Senate is playing with fire by blocking presidential election

The latest attempt by the Senate to delay the election is dangerous, irresponsible, and should be resisted, argues Jacek Karnowski

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Jacek Karnowski

The Speaker of the Senate Tomasz Grodzki on Tuesday announced that the session of the Senate will not take place this week since he and others had doubts whether the presidential election in Poland can proceed in June.

Grodzki and other opposition figures contend that the Speaker of the Lower House (Sejm) can only call an election once the term of office of the president ends.

According to Grodzki, unless the president resigns his office or the government declares a state of emergency that would extend his term of office, the election can only be called after August 6.

But the legislation to hold an election, through a mix of traditional balloting in polling stations and by postal voting for those who apply for a postal ballot, was already a compromise with the opposition.

Now, the opposition is reneging on that. It still fears defeat and wants to delay the election until the autumn.

The ruling party should draw the conclusion that it must hold this election as soon as possible, before June 28 if at all possible.

The time given for collecting signatures and conducting the campaign should be curtailed, as we have already had four months of election campaigning. The ruling party cannot go on talking to an opposition that actively creating constitutional instability just to get its own way.

The government needs to put this election behind it to concentrate on saving the economy.

The election should have been held in May. But since that proved impossible, it must now be held in June.