“It is with great concern that we are witnessing the Law and Justice-led (PiS) majority in Poland imposing changes to the electoral code which are unconstitutional and strip Poles of their democratic electoral rights. By imposing it, the PiS is clearly on an undemocratic path”, said Roberta Metsola MEP, EPP Group Spokeswoman for Justice and Home Affairs.
Her comments follow the vote in the Polish Parliament where the governing majority, after a bout of legal controversies, changed the electoral law to hold the presidential elections on 10 May, entirely by postal voting.
“The PiS is using the Coronavirus pandemic to try to secure a second term for its own presidential candidate. Rather than following the law and postponing the vote to avoid risking the lives of Poles, the PiS is using legally questionable solutions and is forcing the elections to take place by imposing a general and compulsory postal vote", said Metsola.
“The result of such an election will hardly be recognised by international watchdogs. The winner of such a vote will have a weak democratic mandate. By going ahead with it, the PiS is sending Poland down a dangerous path leading towards undemocratic institutions and having a weak President without legitimacy. The Poles deserve better”, Metsola continued.
“The current restrictions introduced to fight the spread of the Coronavirus prevent all but the PiS candidate to run their electoral campaign. This is unacceptable in a European family”, she said.
"The measures planned by the PiS do not guarantee the confidentiality of the votes, the counting will not be controlled by fully independent bodies and the constitutional requirement of a direct vote will be ignored. Moreover, people will risk up to 3 years in prison for losing the electoral card”, Metsola concluded.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 187 Members from all EU Member States