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Position of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights

Position of the HFHR on the bill regarding the special principles of holding general elections to the office of President of the Republic of Poland ordered in 2020.

The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights expresses its adamant objection to the bill presented by a group of MPs introducing voting by post in the general election to the office of President of the Republic of Poland in 2020.

According to the HFHR, the procedure of processing the bill and the regulations that are being introduced constitute a fundamental threat to the honesty and fairness of the elections. The change in the laws governing the procedure and organisation of the elections just a few weeks before voting is inadmissible from the point of view of ensuring the integrity of the election campaign and appropriate organisation of the elections.

Furthermore, the draft provisions, just as the previous proposals of amendments to the Electoral Code, do not address the challenges related to holding elections in the conditions of the epidemic. The bill that is being processed primarily poses a threat to the health of the citizens taking part in the elections at the time of the epidemic, both those forced to cast votes on a completed or empty voting card and those supporting the electoral process.

Therefore, we believe that the bill that is being processed, like the previous amendments to the Electoral Code, as well as any possible subsequent changes that will unconstitutionally change the rules of voting, should only be considered an attempt to safeguard the particular interests of the ruling party at the expense of the citizens, as well as the good of the Republic of Poland.

Essentially, participation in elections held in this way will constitute consent to a breach of the fundamental rules of a democratic state governed by the rule of law. It will also unjustifiably contribute to legitimising the morally and legally dubious victory of the candidate representing the ruling party. Therefore, the HFHR leaves it up to the conscience of every voter to decide whether they agree that the vote they cast should constitute a justification of such a drastic breach of the basic principles of the functioning of the state of Poland.

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