Poland postpones presidential election
After increasingly harsh criticism of the government's plan to hold an election during the pandemic, also from within the party ranks, Poland will not be electing a new president on May 10. The ruling PiS, whose candidate and incumbent Andrzej Duda is considered the favourite, has announced that the election will be held in June instead. But since the constitutionality of cancelling the election is in question, much remains unclear.
Kaczyński exploiting unclear legal situation
The government is relying entirely on a judiciary that it has brought under its control, writes Neue Zürcher Zeitung:
“Contrary to what would have happened if a state of emergency had been declared, which would have automatically led to the postponement of elections during this period, and which experts and the opposition have been demanding for weeks, the legal situation is now completely unclear. Must Duda resign before the new election date? Can new opposing candidates also qualify? And can anyone be held accountable for an election held only in theory but not in practice? Kaczyński is relying on the fact that the justice system, which has been thoroughly reformed over the past four years, will resolve all these issues in his favour.”
Giant hangover in the government camp
Kaczyński's PiS party has made a fool of itself, Gazeta Wyborcza pronounces:
“The mood in PiS circles can be summed up in two words: gigantic hangover. Despite the official display of optimism there is no reason whatsoever for the PiS to be cheerful. After repeating for weeks on end that the elections would be held on May 10 or another day in May, because this was the only solution that complied with the constitution, now it has been forced to admit that this was false. Jarosław Kaczyński had to back down. ... We have a government made of plywood - and that's the nicest possible way to describe it. After all, in the last few weeks the Poles have become the world's laughing stock.”