Europe

Poland to hold presidential election on June 28, after delay due to Covid-19

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Poles will go to the polls on June 28 in a presidential election delayed by the coronavirus, the parliament speaker said Wednesday, as surveys showed a liberal opposition candidate could oust the incumbent backed by the right-wing government.

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President Andrzej Duda, long considered the hands-down election frontrunner, appeared this week to be losing support as the economic hardship triggered by the coronavirus lockdown began to bite.

Backed by the governing right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party, Duda could even lose to liberal candidate and current Warsaw mayor Rafal Trzaskowski, according to the latest opinion polls.

“Im calling the presidential election… for Sunday, June 28,” Parliament speaker Elzbieta Witek told reporters on Wednesday.

She echoed the date floated last week by her political ally, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the powerful leader of the governing right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party who is widely regarded as Poland's defacto decision-maker.

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The election had originally been scheduled for May 10 but was pushed back at the last minute by Kaczynski amid a political crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Rule of law

A latecomer to the race, Trzaskowski must collect 100,000 signatures backing his candidacy within the next seven days.

The other nine candidates, including Duda, have been allowed to use the public backing and registrations they secured for the postponed May 10 ballot.

A run-off will likely be held on July 12 as no contender is expected to win more than 50 percent support for an outright first-round victory.

The PiS government and the liberal opposition had spent weeks in a bitter stalemate over how to proceed with the ballot, which had been mired in issues ranRead More – Source