March 10, 2020 / 6:50 AM / 20 days ago

Poland's president will not hold big election rallies due to coronavirus

WARSAW, March 10 (Reuters) - Polish President Andrzej Duda has said he will not organise large election campaign meetings in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus, which has infected 17 people in the country.

Poles are due to vote in May in a presidential election that will be crucial to the ruling nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party’s hopes of implementing its agenda.

Duda is a PiS ally and is ahead in the polls, consistently scoring over 40%.

“I have made the decision that I will not organise large meetings in connection with my presidential campaign, because these are meetings that hundreds of people come to,” media quoted Duda as saying late on Monday.

“It seems to me that the risk that this may lead to the spread of coronavirus is too great.”

Poland announced on Monday that it would introduce checks on its borders in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus.

However, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told a news conference called to announce the measures that it was too early to say what effect coronavirus could have on the elections.

The country of 38 million people has reported 17 cases of coronavirus. No one has died from the virus in Poland. (Reporting by Alan Charlish Editing by Robert Birsel)

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