Saturday, May 30, 2020

Poland: New presidential election campaign is at full speed

Image credit: Polish PAP/Mateusz Marek/Dorzeczy
In Poland the new presidential election campaign is at full speed even tough it was not announced yet and it is against the law to start one before it is announced. This is a second election after the first "ghost election" that ended just days before it took place. 

The first election that was planned for May 10th did not take place, or took place without anybody voting, because just about everyone in the world thought, and if you are an American voter please pay attention, that the last minute change from traditional vote to mail-in-vote would not be fair, it would might be open to fraud, and simply "not fair". When the term fair not necessary means fair to everyone. In opposition's view "fair" is when they win.

To illustrate that, the opposition for the second time is using all available tools to delay the election and the same time are already complaining that their new candidate from the Civic Platform, they forced a previous female candidate to quit because she was in last place in all the polls, will not have enough time to even collect 100,000 signatures needed to become a candidate. So, they have community organizers already collect them for him, illegally, and call it "citizen initiative" and therefore there is nothing they can do to stop it. 

The new candidate, Rafał Trzaskowski, who again, is not officially a candidate yet, has already presented his platform. Among them cancellation of major investment projects, Central Transport Hub, Vistula Spit Canal and Poland's nuclear power plant program with first nuclear power plant. All those projects were meant to create thousands of well paid local jobs now and in the future. It is hard to tell how the voters will react to that but major opponents to those projects, Germany and Russia will rejoice. Germany, because the transportation hub will create a major player and a serious competitor for air travel business in the region. Russia, because Vistula Spit would remove their death grip on entry to the Vistula Lagoon and the port of Elbląg which right now goes through Russian territorial waters, Strait of Baltiysk.

The next few weeks promise to give us more drama in Polish politics.