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Polish parliament approves election only by postal vote․ #wfmz

Tuesday, 07 April, 2020, 16:25
Polish parliament approves election only by postal vote․ #wfmz

Polish lawmakers voted late Monday to conduct the country's forthcoming presidential elections exclusively through postal voting due to the lockdown imposed for the coronavirus pandemic.

Parliament also empowered house speaker Elzbieta Witek to push back the date of the election, if necessary. Both decisions by parliament require approval from the Senate and from President Andrzej Duda, who is seeking reelection.

Time was pressing for a decision on whether and how to hold the election that had been scheduled — before the pandemic hit — for May 10. Accelerating infections and strict containment measures would make it impossible for people to vote as usual, at polling stations.

There was a brief impasse earlier Monday when Jaroslaw Gowin, the deputy prime minister, resigned after he failed to persuade the powerful ruling party leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, to postpone the election by two years. Gowin said it was irresponsible to hold a vote at a time when the country is fighting the pandemic and the economic problems it has wrought.