Gov't considers postponing local elections due to overlap

The Polish prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, confirmed Law and Justice, the ruling party, was considering the move on Tuesday. Darek Delmanowicz/PAP

The Polish government could postpone the autumn 2023 local elections by several months so to avoid them overlapping with parliamentary elections scheduled for the same time.

The Polish prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, confirmed Law and Justice, the ruling party, was considering the move on Tuesday.

During a visit to an arms plant in the south-eastern town of Stalowa Wola, Morawiecki said that "indeed, there is a plan... to postpone local elections by several months or half a year or somewhat more, but for no later than 2024."

The idea of pushing back the local elections was first presented by Ryszard Terlecki, a senior Law and Justice politician, in a radio interview on Monday.

Terlecki said he had heard comments from the country's election body, the PKW, that organising both elections at the same time would be extremely difficult.

"We're ready to put forward a bill that would postpone the date of local elections by half a year," he said.

Morawiecki echoed Terlecki's argument and said that "from the viewpoint of organisation and the technical side, and even the legal side, I was told that it would be very difficult to organise local elections at the same time as parliamentary elections."

The prime minister also pledged that the parliamentary ballot would take place at the constitutional time.

Poland held its most recent local elections in the autumn of 2018 and the next vote is scheduled for the autumn of 2023 as local officials are elected for a five-year term, unlike MPs, whose term is one year shorter.

The previous parliamentary elections were held in the autumn of 2019.