Polish president signs amended election law

Polish President Andrzej Duda on Tuesday signed an amended election law that limits the number of terms of office for local government heads and introduces more transparent election procedures, presidential aide Pawel Mucha has announced.

The amended law contains a range of solutions which President Duda supports, such as improved transparency of elections, Mucha told a press conference on Tuesday.

The new Election Code introduces "pro-social and pro-citizen mechanisms that increase the transpartency of how local government bodies operate, strengthen the role of the opposition (...) and indirectly increase citizens' authority by bolstering their right to control," Mucha said.

The law also comprises other solutions that "contribute to better monitoring and better transparency of the election process," Mucha added.

Under the new regulations, county towns will be obliged to set up a civic budget of at least 0.5 percent of the municipality's expenditure.

Top local government officials, including commune heads and city mayors, will be able to serve a maximum of two consecutive five-year terms of office.

The law removes single-seat constituencies in communes with more than 20,000 inhabitants, in favour of the majority voting system.

Postal voting, initially scrapped in the draft law in order to prevent voting irregularities, was restored after coming in for criticism from the opposition and NGOs.