we are waiting for a specific bill

We are waiting for a specific bill on the postponement of the local elections, we are waiting for a detailed justification, said presidential adviser Łukasz Rzepecki. When the bill is voted on by the parliament, the president will analyze it and make decisions; now he is asking the opinion of local government officials, for example – he added.

On June 10, the head of the PiS club, Ryszard Terlecki, said in polskatimes.pl that the law on the postponement of local elections is ready and will be sent to the Sejm soon, probably as a parliamentary bill. Local elections would be postponed from the fall of 2023 to the spring of 2024. Terlecki believed that the draft should not cause controversy among political groups.

The adviser to the President of the Republic of Poland, Łukasz Rzepecki, asked Andrzej Duda’s opinion on the postponement of elections on TVN24 on Sunday, stressing that “so far this topic is in the media sphere”. “We are waiting for a specific bill, we are waiting for a specific, detailed justification,” he said. “Then the president will look at it, when the bill comes through the parliament, he will analyze it in detail and make decisions. Now he talks to several people, including local government officials, consults, but makes a decision at the right time” – he added. He stressed that while the legal deadlines are very important, there are also some reasons to postpone these elections.

According to MP Paulina Hennig-Kloski (Poland 2050), “PiS is again trying to manipulate the electoral law so as not to get into a spiral of losing elections because they know they are doing badly.” “They can lose a lot of regional assemblies, lose their influence in local governments, and this success can lead to the opposition getting stronger in local governments and then winning at the national level” – she noted.

Tomasz Rzymkowski (PiS) stressed that a possible postponement of elections was a proposal. “We are not getting ahead of ourselves, this is an open question. The law has not yet been passed, it has not even been submitted yet” – emphasized the MP. He added that local government officials who do not belong to any political party do not want a local government campaign at the same time as the parliamentary campaign. As he noted, it is “the most politicized campaign involved in the political dispute”. “Another argument is the issue of the financing of the election campaign. When two campaigns overlap, it can lead to injustice in the message,” he stressed. According to him, small local committees are disadvantaged.

Urszula Pasławska (KP-PSL) recalled that “in 1998, after the extension of the term of office of the councilors, at that time the municipal councils did not debate whether people of direct elections did not debate”. “Perhaps the point is that the presidents and councilors should not deliberate, only the councils should be held,” she ruled. “This is the case law of the Constitutional Court. Voters contract a person for a maximum, not a minimum period. You can shorten the term of office, but not extend it” – explained the deputy.

“One thing is certain, if you want to postpone the local elections, you will certainly not do it out of decency and honesty,” said Cezary Tomczyk (KO). “You have a majority in the Sejm, you can vote for any kind of fraud and machinations. We know that you are searching the regulation, not to make it more difficult for you, but to make it easier for you” – added the MP will of course not help, but we as a whole opposition have to be ready for you to change the electoral law, be it local government or parliament, and we have to be ready for any scenario. If you want 100 districts make, we will be ready, if you want to change the date of the local government elections, we will be ready “- he announced.

According to the head of the left-wing club, Krzysztof Gawkowski, “it is simply unfair to deprive voters of the knowledge already known in 2018 that the elections will overlap.” “If Law and Justice saw on the election map that it has a better chance, i.e. parliamentary elections first and then local elections, at least from the electoral law calendar, you would do them. You don’t want to do them, because you are trying to divert attention because you know that this is how the constituencies for provincial assemblies are arranged and this is what the local government ordinance looks like that you are likely to lose it “- he emphasized. “Of course there is hope in the president,” he added. “Local government officials do not want to postpone these elections because they wonder what will happen in the transition period” – the deputy noted. In his view, public consultations with local government officials should be organised.

Rzymkowski explained that local government officials often said they would like the local government term to begin in the spring, as it provides an opportunity to prepare a budget for the following year. He added that he is therefore in favor of postponing the local elections to spring.

Under the Electoral Code, the date of the municipal elections is set as a day off not earlier than 30 days and not later than 7 days before the expiry of the term of office of the councils. On the other hand, the current term of office of the council, in accordance with the provisions of constitutional self-government decrees, is 5 years from the date of the election. The elections of the councils of the current term took place on 21 October 2018 and thus end on 21 October 2023. The next municipal elections should therefore take place between 21 September 2023 and 14 October 2023. Possible dates are Sundays: 24 September (2nd round – October 8), October 1 (2nd round – October 15), October 8 (2nd round – October 22).

As for the Sejm and Senate elections, the electoral law stipulates that their date is a holiday, which falls within 30 days before the end of 4 years from the start of the Sejm’s term of office. On the other hand, according to the constitution, the term of office of the Sejm starts on the day of the meeting of the chamber for its first session. The first session of the Sejm of the current term of office took place on November 12, 2019, so 4 years from the start of the current term of office will expire on November 12, 2023. This means that parliamentary elections must be held between October. November 13, 2023 and November 11, 2023. Possible dates are Sundays: October 15, October 22, October 29, November 5.

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