Democracy for better or for worse? Assessing Poland’s upcoming elections

In her article, Danielle Piatkiewicz assesses the May presidential elections in Poland, taking place during the COVID–19 pandemic.

With less than a month away, Poland’s presidential elections are still scheduled for May 10th despite the current COVID–19 crisis that has paralyzed the country and world. Poland has ignored warnings to postpone like other European nations including Serbia, North Macedonia, and Romania, who have heeded international caution by pushing back elections to later dates. Poland has recently stated that despite the disruption and fear of infection, they will still proceed with the elections albeit with no physical polling stations.

Free and fair elections are at the cornerstone of any democratic process. Governments should not legitimatize certain mechanisms taken during times of crisis in order to ascertain political gain. Last week, the governing PiS party submitted and passed legislation to introduce universal postal voting. Usually any amendments to the electoral procedure must be done six months prior to the election.  Election processes are in place in order to safeguard democratic procedures, they should not be “temporarily suspended or circumvented in order to enable the decision making and crisis management to be as swift and efficient as possible.”

You can find the full article here.

#coronavirus #Poland #presidential elections #elections #COVID–19

Danielle Piatkiewicz
Research Fellow

Areas of expertise: Transatlantic and Central and Eastern European foreign and security relations, democracy promotion and NATO.

Publications, events and other activities concerning the pandemic and its consequences

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