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Duda signs amendment enabling referendum to be held on election day

Radek Pietruszka/PAP

Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, on Wednesday signed an amendment to the referendum act to allow a nationwide plebiscite on issues including illegal migration to be held alongside a parliamentary election on October 15, the President’s Office has announced.

The amendment adapts the provisions of the national referendum act so that a referendum can be held on the same day as the presidential, parliamentary or EP elections by, above all, unifying voting hours, that is from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Sejm, lower house of the Polish parliament, greenlighted the proposal, rejecting opposition from the Senate, the upper house, in a 234-209 vote, with 10 abstentions.

The motion for a nationwide referendum, to be held together with the upcoming general elections was submitted to the lower house by the government on Monday.

Planned originally as a national referendum on the European Union’s proposed new migration policy, the plebiscite will also cover other topics.

The first question in the planned referendum, as approved by the cabinet, will read: “Do you support the sell-off of state assets to foreign entities, leading to the loss of control by Polish women and men over strategic sectors of the economy?”

In the second question, Poles will be asked: “Do you support raising the retirement age, including restoring the increased retirement age to 67 for men and women?”

The third question will inquire: “Do you support the removal of the barrier on the border between the Republic of Poland and the Republic of Belarus?”

The fourth question is: “Do you support the admission of thousands of illegal immigrants from the Middle East and Africa, in accordance with the forced relocation mechanism imposed by the European bureaucracy?”

Polish lawmakers are due to debate the questions on Thursday, August 17.

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