Ruling party seeks postponement of local elections

The last local elections were held in 2018. Marcin Bielecki/PAP

Poland's ruling party, the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) has suggested postponing the autumn-2023 local elections to avoid a clash with the general elections scheduled at the same time.

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 coalition 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.

Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister, said on Monday that "we will suggest to parliament and the president a postponement (of the local elections) by half a year, a few months, a year at most, I think."

According to Morawiecki, if elections overlapped, this could cause operational and technical difficulties.

"And this is being raised by the National Electoral Office and the State Electoral Commission in various opinions that are coming from them," Morawiecki said.

On Sunday, PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczyński said his party would file a bill with parliament to extend the term of office of local governments by half a year.

Such an extension would mean that the local government's current term of office would be five and a half years.

Welcome to The First News weekly newsletter

Every Friday catch up on our editor’s top pick of news about Poland, including politics, business, life and culture. To receive your free email subscription, sign up today.