President signs changes to electoral code into law

Radek Pietruszka/PAP

Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, has signed into law changes to Poland's electoral code promoted by the ruling party.

Duda's aide, Malgorzata Paprocka confirmed the news to PAP on Tuesday.

Parliament ended the legislation process on the amendment to the electoral code last week, mainly with votes from the ruling coalition, the United Right, which is led by the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party.

The changes lower the limit required to form a constituency, to 200 from 500 inhabitants, and offer free transport to polling stations in rural areas where public transport is not available.

In effect, the number of constituencies is planned to increase by about 6,000 from 2019's 27,500.

According to PiS, the changes are aimed at increasing voter turnout, but the opposition says they are meant to increase PiS's chances of winning the general election this autumn as the party enjoys significant support in small towns and villages.

The Senate, which is dominated by the opposition, said changes to election rules should not be introduced just months before Poland’s general election, due in the autumn, and appealed to the Sejm to scrap the bill. The lower house rejected the appeal and overturned the Senate's objection.