Speaker to query Constitutional Tribunal over election postponement

Witek said she could not make a decision to postpone the election until the court issues a positive opinion on the matter. Leszek Szymański/PAP

Sejm (lower house) Speaker Elżbieta Witek directed a query on Wednesday to Poland's Constitutional Tribunal regarding the constitutionality of postponing presidential elections, originally scheduled for May 10, PAP learnt unofficially from the Sejm Office.

Speaking to public television broadcaster TVP Info on Tuesday evening, Witek revealed her plans to ask the tribunal for advice on the matter, adding that she wanted to request a fast reply from the court in view of the short time remaining until the election date.

She said she could not make a decision to postpone the election until the court issues a positive opinion on the matter.

In the meantime, the State Electoral Commission announced that it will be impossible to hold presidential elections on May 10 due to legal and organisational reasons.

Witek also said she had not found any provisions in Polish law that would bar her from changing the already set May 10 presidential election date, but neither had she found a provision that would allow her to do so.

Witek said the constitution allows the presidential election to be held on Saturday, May 23. This is the latest possible date of this election envisaged by the supreme law, she added.

Under the current law, Poland's presidential election is due to take place this Sunday and is to be a traditional ballot, except for people over 60, who can vote by post. However, preparations have been limited due to the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party's plan to make it an all-postal ballot amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Senate turned down the relevant bill on Tuesday evening, and even if the Sejm rejected the Senate's veto and President Andrzej Duda signed it immediately into law, this would still leave just days to organise a postal ballot.