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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » August 17, 2018
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Presidential veto
August 17, 2018   
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Polish president Andrzej Duda vetoed a revamp of the country's system of electing members of the European Parliament, authored by the governing party Law and Justice (PiS), citing concerns over fair representation and attendance levels.
"I refuse to sign it [i.e. the amendment to the Electoral Code] and I am sending it back to Sejm [Poland's parliamentary lower house] to review it once again for several reasons," Duda said in his announcement delivered on Thursday afternoon.
The PiS-proposed amendment to the Electoral Code, seeking to change Poland's system of electing MEPs, excessively diverged from the electoral principle of proportionality, according to Duda, who expressed his belief that rejigging the aforementioned legislation would effectively raise the election threshold to "at least over ten percent" of vote instead of the current 5%.
"That would practically mean that today in Poland, only two groupings would stand a chance of securing significant representation in the European Parliament," Duda said, referring to frequently raised arguments that the changes would benefit the ruling party PiS and its main opposition rival Civic Platform (PO).
That, in President's opinion, might also discourage voters from participating in the elections to the European Parliament, and have a negative impact on attendance rates that have already been seen as far from satisfactory.
The contested amendment to the Electoral Code sought to introduce a minimum number of seats for each constituency, liquidating the central distribution of seats based on the candidates' results. The proposal raised objections from minor groupings across the country's political stage, as well as from selected political movements and think-tanks.
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