Viral boycott: how Poland will elect the President

Вирусный бойкот: как Польша выберет президентаIn Poland calling for a boycott of the presidential elections on the background of the pandemic coronavirus, but the authorities are not going to refrain from voting. Until all the factors are in favor of the incumbent President Andrzej Duda, than hopes to capitalize on the ruling party “law and justice”. How is the election campaign in Poland — in the material “Газеты.Ru”.

The presidential candidate of Poland from the opposition party “Civic platform” Malgorzata Kidava-Blonska called upon to postpone the presidential elections, which are scheduled for may 10. In her opinion, in the context of pandemic coronavirus “crime” to vote.

“Let’s boycott these elections, your life is the most important thing,” said Kidava-Blonska, announcing the suspension of his campaign because of the pandemic.

He called on his opponents to follow suit, but it is only partially supported an independent candidate Szymon Hołownia. He suspended his campaign, however, opposed the boycott of the elections.

The leader of the Polish peasant party Vladislav Kosiniak-Reed called attempt Kidawa-Blonski for a boycott of the elections is stupid. And the candidate of the party, the New left Robert Bedron praised the actions of his rival as “retired”.

Speaking about the reaction of the incumbent President Andrzej Duda, who is a candidate from ruling party “law and justice”, she was quite calm. The head of state expressed hope that the Catholic Easter (April 12), the situation in the country will be back to normal.

However, Duda did not rule out postponement of elections if the situation with the spread of the coronavirus will not be stable.

“If it so happens that the epidemic will continue to rage , the timing of elections cannot be saved”, — stressed the President.

The factor of pandemic

According to the latest data, the number of infected people in Poland is almost 1,900 people, and the number of deaths is already more than 20 people. Given that the world were more than 741 thousand cases of infection, the situation in the country can be called stable.

However, in early March in the US was quite similar statistics on the level of cases, and now their number exceeds 140 thousand. But Warsaw still is in no hurry to abandon the election, hoping for the effectiveness of the measures taken to combat the disease.

So, the country closed the borders to foreigners, introduced border controls with other EU countries, stopped international air and rail passenger transport, restricted movement of people and prohibited events.

The latter, accordingly, applies to the electoral campaign, as candidates may meet with voters or members of the public. In such circumstances, following the example of the American model, the candidates for President are partially transferred to the online format work.

The tune suffers from the least restrictive measures, as all his decisions as head of state automatically become part of his election campaign. The opposition is faced with certain challenges due to austerity measures and, in General, could improve its position due to the postponement of the elections.

According to a survey from Kantar on March 24, during a pandemic, in tune ready to vote 65% of the respondents, but in the case of postponing the vote, this figure drops to 44%. In both cases, the main rival of the President — Kidava-Blonska. Her postponement of the elections can bring almost twice as many votes: it gaining 10% and 19% respectively.

Despite the fact that Kidava-Blonska hardly can claim unequivocal victory, the postponement of elections in her hand. According to the Polish law, if no candidate gets 50% of votes in the first round of the presidential election, will be appointed the second round. This can be dangerous for Duda, who hopes for re-election.

Necessary measures

The ruling party in the shortest terms has prepared amendments to the electoral code, which may partially help to vote in a pandemic. The measures allow people over 60 and those who are quarantined to vote by mail.

As Politico writes, these adjustments should dispel doubts about the feasibility of holding elections in the backdrop of the spread of coronavirus. This opposition could not prevent the change of the legislation, the relevant amendment was blocked by the ruling party.

In addition, the Polish authorities have been reluctant to impose on the country a state of emergency, though, and took measures for the mass isolation of citizens.

The fact is that by law, any election should be moved for 60 days after the expiration of a state of emergency. While the actual quarantine is in effect in Poland before 10 April and elections must be held within a month after its completion.

Thus, the introduction of emergency pushed would vote for the summer, which most likely would have worked minus the President. However, the rejection of the postponement of the elections could also play against Duda.

According to the survey of the Institute Ibris March 23, 72% of poles oppose the vote on may 10 due to the coronavirus. Moreover, among supporters of the ruling party supported the postponement of the elections, 43% of respondents.

Opposition problems

However, the fears of citizens in the ruling party “law and justice” do not share. As stated by the leader of the Pis Jaroslaw Kaczynski, while voting for the presidential election can be held. “Those who claim otherwise, are guided by their own narrow interests, which are essentially attack the Constitution,” he said.

Thus, the head of the ruling party actually accused calling for a boycott of the elections or their transfer in the sabotage of the basic law, although technically the authorities themselves violate the Constitution, isolating the population without the imposition of state of emergency.

Formally, however, the opposition did not oppose Kaczynski because of their fragmentation, which once again demonstrated the appeal Kidawa-Blonski to boycott the vote. None of the opposition parties did not support her decision, they all continued to prepare for the may elections.

Although probably together opposition candidates could force the government to change its position and to postpone the vote. Now suspend election campaign Kidawa-Blonski formally, removes the last obstacle to Duda for re-election.


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