10 C
Thursday, June 13, 2024

Elections 2023. Supreme Court: representatives of trust and social observers may be present at the work of the electoral commission before voting day

Must read

- Advertisement -

A shop steward, but also a social observer, has the right to be present during all activities of the electoral and referendum commission to which they have been appointed, including before voting day – according to Thursday’s ruling of the Supreme Court. A few days ago, social observers were not allowed to attend the meeting of the District Electoral Commission in Szczecin. Shortly afterwards, explanations were published on the National Electoral Commission’s website, but social activists filed a complaint to the Supreme Court.

On Thursday, the Chamber of Extraordinary Control and Public Affairs of the Supreme Court considered the complaint of an unnamed Association against the letter issued on August 30 this year and signed by the chairman of the National Electoral Commission, Judge Sylwester Marciniak, entitled “Explanations of the National Electoral Commission on the powers of trustees and social observers”.

Explanations of the National Electoral Commission regarding the rights of shop stewards and social observers >>>

This document states, among other things, that “persons acting as a representative of a person of trust or a social observer at a district electoral commission are entitled to observe only the activities performed by this commission related to the adoption of voting protocols, determining the voting results and the results elections and preparation of protocols.

- Advertisement -

The Supreme Court found that the complaint of an association entitled to participate in the referendum campaign may be considered because “the only statutory form provided for both guidelines and explanations is a resolution PKW“. “The use of the statutory term ‘explanation’ suggests that the document in question constitutes a resolution of the National Electoral Commission, because only in this form the Commission can issue explanations,” the Supreme Court pointed out.

Procedures “should be as transparent as possible”

At the same time, the Supreme Court found the complaint justified. “The incorporation of the principle of democracy into the essence of the Republic of Poland requires the assumption that the key procedures for it, related to the election of power and holding referendums, should be as transparent as possible, because their results are an expression of the Sovereign’s will expressed directly,” the justification for the decision states.

“Ensuring the transparency of the indicated procedures is therefore the duty of a democratic state, and at the same time realizing its best interests, because in this way it confirms its character. Questioning the correctness of the said procedures may ultimately lead to questioning the democratic character of the state itself,” the court wrote.

Supreme Court: stewards and social observers may participate in the work of the commission before the voting day

The justification also recalled that “in 2018, the Electoral Code was amended, which introduced a significant change, namely granting the shop steward and, respectively, the social observer the right to be present during all activities of the commission to which he was appointed.” As the Supreme Court noted, such a conclusion – regardless of the linguistic interpretation of the provisions – results from the written justification of the draft amendment to the act introducing this change in 2018, which states that shop stewards will be able to participate in the committee’s work also before voting day.

“It should be stated that the legislator’s will was to enable shop stewards and social observers, respectively, to be present during the commission’s activities also before voting day,” it was emphasized in the justification of the Supreme Court’s decision posted on the court’s website.

The court also pointed out that “just like the democratic state itself, the principle of democratism is in this context an ideal that should be pursued in a democratic state ruled by law.” “It should be recognized that the adoption as a principle of the right of a shop steward, and accordingly a social observer, to participate in all activities of the commission to which he has been appointed, is a step in this direction,” the justification for Thursday’s ruling concluded.

The decision was made by a panel of three judges of the Extraordinary Control Chamber of the Supreme Court, chaired by Paweł Księżak. The rapporteur was judge Oktawian Nawrot, the judges were completed by judge Tomasz Przesławski.

They allowed observers to the electoral commissions, two days later they did not

About the dispute over whether social observers can observe the work of electoral commissions during all their meetings we wrote in tvn24.pl a few days ago.

They were warmly welcomed at the inaugural meeting of the District Electoral Commission in Szczecin on Tuesday, but they were not allowed to attend the next one on Thursday. On that day, explanations were published on the PKW website, in which it was written that the rights of observers apply only to the day of voting. The social workers appealed to the Supreme Court.

READ MORE: On Tuesday they allowed observers to the electoral commissions, on Thursday they were refused. There is a complaint

Main photo source: Darek Delmanowicz/PAP

Source link

More articles

- Advertisement -

Latest article