Timeline of the election chaos
The Political Accountability Foundation released a timeline of events leading up to the non-election on 10 May in Poland. Due to last minute amendments introduced to the electoral legal framework, voters were deprived of their right to cast a vote in the presidential election on the date indicated in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, which created uncertainty as for the interpretation of the law with respect to the conduct and completion of the election scheduled on February 5, as well as regarding the possibility, conditions and dates of scheduling a new election.
Any new election would, as of now, be subject to provisions of the Act of April 6 which entered into force May 9, unless new election legislation is passed before election day. For an explanation of the Act of April 6 read our Policy Alert here.
Summary of information regarding the conduct of the election of the President of the Republic of Poland scheduled for May 10, 2020 (as of May 11, 2020)
- The voting scheduled for May 10 did not take place due to lack of legal and organizational preparati
- On February 5, 2020 the Speaker of the Sejm (lower house of parliament) ordered the election of President of the Republic of Poland to be scheduled for May 10, 2020.
- Due to the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, on March 14 the government introduced in Poland a state of epidemic emergency, and few days later, on March 20 - the state of The latter, according to provisions of Polish law, does not constitute a state of emergency recognized by the Constitution, therefore it does not have any implications on the scheduled date of election;
- In parallel to legislative amendments, adopted due to ongoing epidemic state and aiming to safeguard public health and protect the economy, the legislative began to introduce changes to electoral legal framework;
- As a result of the changes introduced to election law, while the preparation of election, as well as campaigning were already underway, the National Electoral Commission (NEC), institutional body in charge of administering the election, was partially deprived of its powers, becoming unable to successfully complete the election preparation process;
- The responsibility of NEC was automatically transferred to other bodies of government or municipal administra Consequently, during the ongoing election preparation process for some time there were no institutional bodies in charge to perform activities necessary to successfully administer voting. This gap was ﬁnally ﬁlled in on May 9, 2020, i.e. one day before scheduled election day;
- Finally, amendments introduced to electoral legal framework resulted in failure to prepare legal and organizational conditions for voters to cast their votes on May 10 (no ballots, no method and place to cast the ballot, absence of municipal precinct election commission responsible for counting votes and preparing protocols).
- The summary of the current situation (as of May 11, 2020):
- on May 7 NEC issues a communication informing about the inability to conduct voting on May 10,
- on May 8 the Council of Ministers issues its position informing about the inability to conduct voting on May 10,
- on May 10 NEC adopts a resolution stating the lack of possibility to vote for candidates on May 10, which means that within 14 days from the date of publication, in accordance with the Election Code, the Speaker of Sejm shall order new election to take place within 60 days from the announcement and on a day oﬀ, and
- on May 11 the Supreme Court issues the communication indicating that it will examine electoral protests against the election of the president only once NEC discloses the election result to the public, and that the NEC’s resolution of May 10 “is not the equivalent of the resolution on the basis of which the voting results are disclosed to the public by National Electoral Commission”.
The full statement is available here
And a timeline of all events leading up to the non-election on May 10 can be found here