Poland's upcoming presidential election will be postponed amid concerns about the spread of coronavirus, the country's coalition government leaders said Wednesday.
Jaroslaw Kaczynski of the ruling Law and Justice party, and Jaroslaw Gowin of the smaller Agreement party, announced a "solution that will guarantee Poles the opportunity to take part in democratic elections" in a joint statement reported by state-run Polish News Agency.
"The speaker of the Sejm will announce new presidential elections at the earliest possible date," the statement reads, referring to Poland's lower house of parliament. It adds that voting will be done by post, "in the interests of the safety of Poles in view of the epidemic situation."
A total of 733 people have died from coronavirus in Poland, where 14,740 cases of the virus have so far been reported, state-run Polish Radio announced late Wednesday.
The decision to postpone the vote comes after weeks of criticism of the government. Campaigners and academics have said that the Law and Justice party is using the pandemic to continue chipping away at democracy and tightening its grip on power.