Bishop Samiec on elections in Poland

Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland Jerzy Samiec commented on his blog the current situation Poland. He noted that "the hottest May in the last 30 years awaits us". "I don't mean the weather at all, although the dryness that affects our country and is, according to specialists, one of the worst in years" - he wrote. "Of course, like half the Poles who usually take part in elections, I have my own candidate and I plan to vote for him. However, I don't mean to support a specific candidacy, but to support events related to the organization of the presidential elections planned for May. More important than who wins, is how he will be elected and whether the electoral rules will be kept. The rules of democratic elections must not be bent and violated, the rules of conducting elections must not be changed during the ongoing electoral process" - he said.

The Lutheran bishop stressed that "although we do not have a law based on precedents, breaking it in the name of extraordinary conditions will create the temptation to allow similar behaviour in the future". "According to the Constitutional Court's jurisprudence, it is not allowed to change election laws later than six months before the election. This position was also defended on behalf of the former President Lech Kaczyński by his minister Andrzej Duda. The source of current conflicts lies in the violation of this rule. Changes were made to the electoral regulations after crossing the border for 6 months" - was pointed out by Bishop Samiec.

He also noted that "such conduct generated a whole series of consequences that attracted specific actions. These include: changing the institution that is responsible for conducting the elections, changing the way of voting, attempts to postpone the deadline by 2-3 weeks by the decision of the Speaker of the Sejm, printing ballot papers before passing resolutions allowing for this, sharing personal data of citizens of the unauthorized institution, depriving a large group of voters of the possibility to vote (people staying abroad)" pointed bishop Samiec, stressing that "if the law was obeyed, all this galimatias would not arise".

He added that "it is unacceptable to turn the celebration of democracy - elections - into a war in which pressure is exerted and puts voters and officials before the choice of applying the law or executing the decisions of the administrative authorities". Wondering whether there is a way out of this "confusing situation" bishop Samiec proposed "not to change the rules, to bring about an agreement between the parties to the conflict and a national consensus on important and true elections of the President of the Republic of Poland in which all candidates will have equal chances".

"I dream of a time when we will not put everything on our heads and black will be called black and white" - wrote the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland. "There is still time for awakening. I hope that common sense and the Constitution of the Republic of Poland will finally prevail" - he added.

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