WARSAW (Reuters) – Polish opposition lawmakers on Friday called for the dismissal of a government minister tasked with organising Sunday’s presidential election, after the ruling coalition unexpectedly said the vote could not take place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Opposition parties had accused the government of risking public health for political gain in insisting that the vote should take place as scheduled.
The Law and Justice (PiS) government tried to hold a last-minute postal ballot, which opposition groups said contravened Polish law.
The government acknowledged on Wednesday that a postal vote could not be organised on time and said a new election would be called soon.
“Today we are starting the process of holding accountable those who are responsible for the embarrassment that is the presidential elections,” Borys Budka, head of the centrist Civic Platform, told reporters.
The party said it would ask parliament for a vote of no confidence in Jacek Sasin, the deputy prime minister in charge of preparing for the vote
The Left, another opposition group, submitted a notification to the prosecutors’ office demanding information on whether there was a legal basis for a postal ballot.
PiS denies misconduct.
“There is no basis for minister Sasin’s dismissal, there will be no changes in this post,” government spokesman Piotr Muller said, according to state news agency PAP.
PiS had wanted the election to go ahead because of concerns that the recession likely to follow the coronavirus pandemic would dent support for the government and its allies.
Writing by Marcin Goclowski; Editing by Giles Elgood