Parliament extends local gov't office term to avoid vote overlap

The last local elections were held in 2018. Jakub Kamiński/PAP

The Sejm, the lower house of Polish parliament, has passed a bill that extends the term of office of local governments by several months to avoid an election clash next autumn.

Local and national elections in Poland used to be held every four years, but with a one-year difference between them. According to this model, the last parliamentary elections were held in 2019 and the last local elections in 2018.

But in 2018, the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) MPs passed an amendment that extended the term of office of local governments from four to five years, which led to the 2023 election overlap.

The bill, which was approved on Thursday, was supported by 231 MPs, mostly from PiS and affiliated parties, while 209 deputies were against and one abstained.

Under the legislation, the term of office of local officials will be extended to April 30, 2024, which paves the way for putting back local elections and separating them from the general elections, which will be held in the autumn of 2023.

The bill will now go to the Senate.

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