Poland: Presiding bishop calls for peace and understanding

Jerzy Samiec, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland, expresses his concern about the state of the democracy in the country and procedures around the upcoming presidential elections. Photo: Dariusz Bruncz
Jerzy Samiec, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland, expresses his concern about the state of the democracy in the country and procedures around the upcoming presidential elections. Photo: Dariusz Bruncz

Bishop Jerzy Samiec appeals to government officials

(LWI) - The presiding bishop of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland, Jerzy Samiec, has expressed his concern about the "state of the democracy” in Poland and about "dignity and human rights that are easily destroyed when the basic principles of democracy are violated."

The background for his concerns is the presidential elections in Poland, which were initially scheduled for 10 May. Restrictions imposed to contain the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic made the usual election procedure, as stipulated in the Polish electoral law, impossible. On 7 May, the Sejm - the lower house of the Polish Parliament - postponed the elections, but uncertainties about the election procedure remain. A new election date has also not been set.

Bishop Samiec expressed his concerns in an official blog post, published on 1 May, where he argued that that the best conditions should be created "for holding universal, equal, direct and secret elections for the President of the Republic of Poland." This included "an agreement between the parties to the conflict," equal opportunities for all candidates, and that the health of voters would not be put at risk.

"My aim is to draw attention to the fact that we are ... heading into a growing conflict that the citizens are falling victim to," Samiec said.