Polish health minister says postal vote only option for two years

WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland could safely hold elections in the usual way in two years’ time at the earliest, health minister Lukasz Szumowski said on Friday in a recommendation to the prime minister, with the only option before then being a postal vote.

It remains unclear whether a presidential election scheduled for May 10 will go ahead, with some in the ruling conservative alliance advocating constitutional change to extend the president’s term by two years, others advocating a postal vote, and the opposition calling for a state of emergency.

“The only form which I can recommend as health minister from a medical perspective is a postal vote, because it minimises contact between people,” Szumowski told reporters.

“The only date that would be safe for such a large event as a presidential election would be a time when there is a vaccine, and that is a year and a half to two years away.”

The presidential election is crucial for the ruling nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party’s hopes of being able to implement its agenda as the president holds the right to veto laws. Incumbent Andrzej Duda is a PiS ally.

On Friday, the European Union’s legislature rebuked Poland for flouting “European values” by pressing ahead with the election.

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