Because of the presidential election due in May and the uncertainty whether this date can be kept and whether the diaspora can take part, we wrote an open letter to the ambassador and the consuls, responsible for representing the diaspora and organising the elections.
The Ambassador of The Republic of Poland In The United Kingdom Mr Arkady Rzegocki
Consul General in London Mateusz Stąsiek
Consul General in Manchester Mr Leszek Rowicki
Consul General in Edinburgh Mr Ireneusz Truszkowski
Consul General in Belfast Mr Paweł Majewski
On behalf of the Polish Citizens living in the United Kingdom, we wish to express our deep concern with the prospect of conducting the presidential election on the 10th of May 2020, as well as the proposal to change the method of voting in this election at the time of the Coronavirus pandemic. In less than one month before the date of the first stage of the election, there is no clarity on how the voting will be conducted. In particular, there is a great deal of doubt concerning the possibility of participation of the electorate living outside Poland, whether by personal voting or the proposed postal voting.
Article 127 of The Constitution of the Republic of Poland states that elections must be: universal, equal, direct and conducted by secret ballot. According to this, as Polish Citizens we have the right to take part in the elections outside of Poland on the same principles as the Poles living in Poland. We have serious doubts, whether in face of the pervading chaos caused by the pandemic, these principal rules will be fulfilled in Poland as well as abroad.
According to the media, the Government of the Republic of Poland, regardless of the circumstances, continues the organisation of the election and the RP Sejm (in contravention of the Constitution, the regulatory process in the Sejm and contrary to the ruling of the Constitutional Tribunal) is debating on the changes in the electoral code. Assuming the May election will go ahead, we kindly request that the following questions expressing our concerns are answered in line with our constitutional right of access to public information:
1 What is the course of action taken by the Polish Diplomatic Service to guarantee the constitutional universality of the voting by the Polish Community living in Britain?
2 In case of the change in the terms and the date of the election allowing for direct participation:
· how many polling stations will be open and where exactly will they be situated?
· what is the process of selecting the members of the district electoral committees and the registration of the observers?
· when will the electoral register be open?
3 With the present limitations of movement, direct personal voting will not be possible in The United Kingdom. Will it be possible to vote by post and if so, please say:
· when and how may we apply for the ballot papers?
· to whom and where will we be able to deliver our ballot papers?
· how will the opening and counting of the votes be performed?
Taking into consideration the difficulties in the organisation of the parliamentary election in Autumn 2019, when the rules and dates were publicly announced in the timely manner and the process was conducted in the designated timescale, we would like to express our concern that in face of the present legislative chaos and obligatory social distancing in The United Kingdom, we will be forced to forgo our right to take part in the presidential election. We hope that the Embassy and the Consulates of the Republic of Poland in the United Kingdom will do their best to represent the interests of the Polish Community in the UK to ensure our right of participation in the forthcoming presidential election.
KOD UK Board