Poland: Protesters storm electoral office over delays

A demonstration of the radical right led to an occupation of the National Electoral Commission (PKW) in Warsaw on Thursday night, halting the process of counting votes of local elections, Gazeta Wyborcza reports.

Amid accusations of election rigging, the demonstrators demanded for PKW members to resign, for repeat elections to be held and for changes in electoral law as a result of the information chaos that ensued when IT system failure delayed the announcement of the results of the 16 November vote.

According to the daily’s commentator Jarosław Kurski, the occupation of the PKW office was “an act of terror against democracy unseen for the past 25 years”. Kurski blames the “act of vandalism and blind anarchy” on the leaders of the opposition parties Law and Justice (PiS) and Democratic Left Alliance (SLD), who insinuated that the elections had been rigged and demanded a repeat vote for political reasons. The demonstrators were removed from the building by the police during the night.

Rzeczpospolita warns the PKW is not ready for the parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for 2015, citing a report by the Supreme Audit Office that says the PKW has not yet announced tenders for the IT system that will support next year’s votes.

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