The State Election Commission [PKW] has appointed new election commissioners to oversee the preparation and conduct of elections. They are mainly beneficiaries of the "good change in the courts.
The new commissioners were appointed by the State Election Commission in a resolution dated March 27, 2023. There are 93 of them, and the list includes mainly judges who have been promoted under the current government. They are the presidents of courts appointed by the Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro, neo-judges and people who signed letters of support for candidates to the neo-KRS [National Council of the Judiciary].
They will earn an additional salary of about 6-7 thousand zlotys gross per month for holding this position.
Election commissioners have a great influence on the organization and conduct of elections in Poland. The commissioners are representatives of the PKW for a given district in a province. They are the ones who oversee the observance of election laws, take part in the preparation of local elections, and appoint election commissions and voting districts. They also order the printing of ballots; determine aggregate election results from their subordinate commissions. They can even rescind resolutions of election commissions.
OKO.press asked former State Election Commission chairman Wojciech Hermelinski about the new commissioners - who are affiliated with the current government.
Should the neo-judges, due to the flawed nature of their appointment by the illegal neo-KRS, be election commissioners? Hermelinski: I can`t rule out that they will perform their office well. They don`;t have to be inferior at all. But because of their appointment [by the neo-KRS - red.], their status as commissioners may be questioned. The Election Code, however, says that an election commissioner can become a person with a university degree in law. Appointment as a judge is not necessary.
Has PiS [Law and Justice Party] politicized the electoral process in Poland? Former head of the PKW: "There is a politicization of election bodies taking place. I deplore this. We used to be a model for others. Our system was praised by the Venice Commission".
It is still worth recalling that election protests to the Sejm will be heard by the Extraordinary Control and Public Affairs Chamber of the Supreme Court, appointed by the Law and Justice Party. It is staffed entirely with neo-judges. It is also this Chamber that decides whether elections are valid.