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Can the elections in May kill? Interview with Martin Mycielski for Suomen Kuvalehti

Before the announced presidential election on May 10 in Poland, the Director of Public Affairs of the Open Dialogue Foundation Martin Mycielski gave an interview to the Finnish magazine Suomen Kuvalehti, in which he assessed the real chances of conducting safe and constitutional elections.

According to Mycielski, it is unlikely that the elections can be organised in such a short time, even though all official sources of information indicate that the elections will take place on May 10 by mail (many local authorities have already refused to prepare for them, and central coordination with commissioners appointed by the government is practically impossible).

Mycielski believes there is no chance that the May elections could be considered safe during the epidemic. Nor would they be fair elections for at least several reasons. “First of all they’re already unlawful and unconstitutional, as any changes to the electoral law have to be made at least 6 months in advance. Secondly, no candidates other than the incumbent Duda have been able to campaign for a month now. Thirdly, Duda already had a monopoly on presence in the public media, which is now only boosted by the epidemic (a recent study showed Duda being present in nearly every story on the news, some 10-15 times per edition of the main TVP news). Fourthly, collecting signatures for candidacies under Corona isn’t possible, so only those who did it before the lockdown could register. Last but not least, there are now millions of Poles unable to vote at all, and that’s most of the Polish diaspora, e.g. 1 million in the UK or a quarter million here in Belgium” – stated Mycielski.