EPP calls on Polish gov't to declare state of emergency, postpone vote

Darek Delmanowicz/PAP

The presidium of the European People's Party (EPP) Group in the European Parliament (EP) has called on the Polish government to declare a state of emergency and hold the presidential election, planned for May 10, after the end of the coronavirus pandemic.

The EPP is led by former Polish PM Donald Tusk.

Poland's ruling party Law and Justice (PiS) maintains that it is obliged by the Constitution to hold the vote on that day.

The EPP presidium has been following with concern the striving of the Polish parliamentary majority to hold the presidential vote in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. "We are calling on the PiS government to observe the Constitution and declare a state of emergency. This will make it possible to secure the legality of the election and save the lives of many Polish people," EPP Group vice-chairman Esteban Gonzales Pons was quoted as saying in a statement on Monday.

The announcement declared that it was difficult to understand why the Polish government was ready to put at risk the lives of Poles, Polish Post staff and of people who would calculate the votes. It also stated that by planning to hold the election on May 10, the ruling coalition was violating the Constitution and the electoral code.

PiS should not use the coronavirus pandemic in order to win the second term of office for its president, said EP Roberta Metsola, an EPP Group spokesperson in the EP Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, and appealed to the Polish authorities to return to Europe and not to enter the path of confrontation with friends, neighbours and partners.

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