CEC Briefs are our daily and weekly reports on a specific current topic of political or regulatory interest provided direct to our clients. The article archive is then posted here for open searches a month after it is sent out to our clients. Please revisit regularly for updated material. If you wish to receive our updates as they are released, please see our Intelligence Offer.
POLAND: Potential Election Law Amendments
Wojciech Hermeliński, President of the State Election Committee (PKW) has signaled that potential amendments to the election law may be immediately required. In December 2017, the parliament passed an amendment bill on the election law, which introduced the obligation of installing and operating CCTV in all polling stations around the country. PiS argued that this measure is necessary to avoid elections fraud. According to the PKW and the Inspector General for the Protection of Personal Data (GIODO), installing CCTV systems would be illegal. GIODO published an official opinion according to which a CCTV system would allow for the identification of voters and later the processing of information for profiling purposes. Secondly, the Inspector points out that this would also be illegal in light of the recent GDPR (RODO) implementation – according to the Polish constitution international laws have supremacy over state law – making the EU regulation unamendable.
According to some constitutional experts, amendments to election law can be made no less than 6 months prior to the upcoming elections. However, exceptions can be made for minor changes. PiS may now come under fire; if this legal matter remains unresolved, some are bound to argue the November 2018 local elections will be invalid. On the other hand, hasty amendments may draw further unwanted media attention to a whole list of minor flaws and inaccuracies in the recent electoral law reform. Still, many experts argued that the electoral reform will be too expensive to implement, including Hermeliński. This situation, therefore, does allow a way out for the ruling party.