|Author (Corporate)||Cardiff EDC|
Information, reports and analyses related to the presidential election initially scheduled to be held in Poland in May 2020 and later postponed due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. The first round was eventually held on 28 June, followed by a runoff vote on 12 July 2020.
The President of Poland is directly elected using a two-round system for a five-year term, with re-election allowed once. The President must be elected by an absolute majority of valid votes; a second round is held with the two candidates with the largest number of votes in the absence of a straightforward majority following the first round.
The country was due to hold the first round of the election on 10 May 2020. The incumbent President Andrzej Duda - an ally of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party - launched a bid for a second term and was shown by pre-election polls as well ahead of the remaining candidates. These included Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska, Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz and Szymon Hołownia, widely seen as the best-placed to challenge the incumbent.
The pandemic - and the government's initial decision not to postpone the election in light of the restrictions otherwise imposed to citizens - was the main issue structuring public debate. Opposition politicians urged the election to be held at a later date as campaigning was restricted or even made impossible by the virus outbreak across Poland. Members of the PiS party accused their opponents of playing for time in the hope the gap would narrow between the leading candidate and his rivals. Opposition candidates urged the government to declare a state of emergency or state of natural disaster, which would have automatically postponed the election - the cabinet refused to do so as it did not deemed the situation serious enough.
On 6 April 2020, Poland's Sejm (the lower house of Parliament) adopted a proposal requiring voting for the presidential election to be carried out by postal voting. The bill was then sent to the upper house of Parliament for further processing. Some law professionals and entities in Poland and abroad raised questions over whether such changes were according to Polish Constitution, which prevents alteration of electoral code six months prior to an election. On 30 April, a number of former Presidents and Prime Ministers called for a boycott of the presidential election.
The bill on postal voting was eventually approved on 7 May. However, Poland's electoral committee announced on 10 May the conditions had not been met for an election to take place. The Speaker of the Sejm later ordered the first round of the election to be held on 28 June.
On 15 May, the main opposition party announced the replacement of their candidate for the Presidency - Rafał Trzaskowsi was selected following the resignation of Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska due to poor performance in election polls. The electoral campaign went on framed by the economic impact of the pandemic and the electorate's willingness to allow governing PiS to remain unchallenged in exercising power. The incumbent Andrzej Duda focused his narrative on fighting the so-called 'LGBT ideology', seen by many as proxy for homophobic remarks to seduce conservative and far-right voters.
Mr Duda won the first round of the election (43,5%), followed by Mr Trzaskowski (30,5%). The second round was held on 12 July 2020 - incumbent Andrzej Duda (51%) narrowly won the election against Rafał Trzaskowsi (49%).
|Subject Categories||Politics and International Relations|
|Subject Tags||National Politics, Presidential Elections|
|Countries / Regions||Poland|