May 27, 2020 / 2:18 PM / 3 months ago

Poland's ruling party sees June 28 as deadline for presidential vote

FILE PHOTO: Law and Justice (PiS) leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski applauds during a session of Poland's lower house of parliament in Warsaw, Poland November 12, 2019. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/File Photo

WARSAW (Reuters) - The last possible date that Poland could hold a presidential election on is June 28, the leader of the ruling nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party said on Wednesday, amid deepening conflict surrounding the timing of the vote.

The date of Poland’s presidential election, originally scheduled for May 10, remains uncertain, with PiS accusing the opposition-controlled Senate of delaying tactics designed to help their main candidate’s chances.

Planning for the election collapsed earlier this month because of the coronavirus pandemic, forcing the government to abandon the original schedule.

“Our position is clear, shared: the elections will take place,” Jaroslaw Kaczynski told a news conference, flanked by the leaders of the junior partners in his ruling alliance.

“If there are any attempts to oppose this, then we will use all the means at the state’s disposal to see to it that the law is followed.”

Opponents say PiS rushed legislation that would allow the election to take place through the lower house of parliament, the Sejm, without due care and attention, meaning more work is required in the opposition-controlled Senate.

On Tuesday, Senate speaker and vocal government critic Tomasz Grodzki said that the chamber would not reconvene until next week to allow committees time to work on the legislation, drawing fierce criticism from PiS.

PiS is keen to get incumbent president and frontrunner Andrzej Duda - an ally of the party - re-elected before the economic fallout from the pandemic weighs on his popularity.

As of Wednesday morning Poland had reported 22,303 cases of the coronavirus and 1,025 deaths.

Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko and Alan Charlish, Editing by William Maclean

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