Local elections, originally scheduled to be held in autumn 2023, will now be held in autumn 2024, after the proposal by the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party was signed into legislation by President Andrzej Duda. The one-year delay was justified by the executive so as to avoid clashes with the general elections of autumn 2023 and the European Parliament elections of spring 2024. Constitutional lawyers and civil society organizations have raised concerns that the delay violates the constitutional principle of tenure, and the delay has also drawn criticism from the opposition, who argue that it is a mere political manoeuvre as the ruling party is falling in opinion polls.
An indictment has been re-filed by the District Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw against three of the leaders of the Strajk Kobiet (Women’s Strike) protest movement, accused of causing an ‘epidemiological threat’. People took to the streets in October 2020, in what were the largest protests since the fall of communism, to demonstrate against the tightening of the abortion law. The re-filed indictment is regarded by some as a political manoeuvre, amidst a European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruling this month that extends concerns over judicial independence and the rule-of-law in Poland. It comes as a prominent activist faces trial for allegedly aiding an abortion and as three doctors, who did not grant life-saving abortion care to a pregnant woman in the wake of the tightened abortion laws, were charged over her death last month.