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Referendum set for 6 September

PR dla Zagranicy
Jo Harper 18.06.2015 13:41
A referendum on changes to Poland’s electoral system will take place on 6 September said outgoing president Bronisław Komorowski.
Photo: PAP/Jakub KaczmarczykPhoto: PAP/Jakub Kaczmarczyk

The referendum will ask three questions, on political funding, changes in the voting system and the principles governing tax law.

Komorowski, who lost last month’s election in the second round to Andrzej Duda of the opposition Law and Justice (PiS) party, came out with the idea of a referendum on changes in the electoral system after his seemingly invincible earlier position in the polls collapsed in the first round of voting.

The referendum will deal with introducing a UK-style single-seat constituency system and ending public funding for political parties. The upper house of parliament accepted the referendum proposal in May.

Reactions to the news were mixed. “This referendum is the child of a chaotic, hysterical change in the president’s opinions between the first and second round of the presidential election,” Adam Bielan from United Poland (PR), said.

The leader of a new political grouping NowoczesnaPL Ryszard Petru said he will vote three times “yes” in the referendum.

”Above all I am for tax law to work for the benefit of the taxpayer. I am against financing of political parties, but I also prefer a mixed system, where some MPs are selected in single member constituencies (or JOW in Polish) and some in a PR system,” Petru said.

The NowoczesnaPL leader said the Sejm, lower house of parliament, should have a half fewer MPs.

Bielan also suggested the referendum is not constitutional. (jh)

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