Polish opposition challenges recent presidential election

Elections

Photo by Marek Szandurski / Shutterstock.com

Poland’s main opposition party lodged a protest on July 16 with a top court against the recent presidential election in which its candidate narrowly lost to conservative incumbent Andrzej Duda, Associated Press reports.

File photo: Opposition party Civic Platformʼs presidential candidate Rafał Trzaskowski at an election rally in Szczecin, Poland on July 8, 2020. Photo by Marek Szandurski / Shutterstock.com

The liberal Civic Platform (PO) party has complained the whole electoral process was “not fair.” The Supreme Court has 21 days to review any protests.

Associated Press says the challenge is thought unlikely to succeed. It will be the first big test for the Supreme Court, the new president of which was appointed in May with the backing of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party that also backed Duda’s re-election.

The PO claims that Duda was given an unfair campaign boost from the government and from state-run media, who were allegedly praising the president and trying to discredit his opponent, Warsaw Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski.

The opposition party also says that many voters abroad were not able to cast their ballots because they did not get them on time, due to poor organization by some of Poland’s diplomatic missions.

The Associated Press notes that OSCE officials overseeing the election have ruled that the July 12 voting was organized professionally on the whole, but it also noted the public broadcaster’s use as a campaign tool for Duda.

There are some 780 other challenges, mostly from individual people. The State Electoral Commission announced on July 13 that Duda had won a second five-year term with 51.03% of the vote, against 48.97% for Trzaskowski, The Associated Press notes.

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