Poland | Future of the government uncertain after several votes in parliament

(Warsaw) The future of the Polish conservative-nationalist government was controversial on Wednesday after it lost several votes in parliament but the opposition failed to vote on a controversial media law.

Posted on Aug 11, 2021 at 3:14 pm

Bernard OSSER Agence France-Presse

The stormy session of parliament took place the day after the collapse of the coalition caused by the resignation, which Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki had ordered from his deputy Jaroslaw Gowin, the chairman of one of the three parties in the coalition, which had ten votes in parliament.

On Wednesday, the ruling right lost a total of four votes, an unprecedented result since it came to power in 2015.

In the evening, the opposition initially succeeded in postponing the parliamentary session to September 2.

Shortly afterwards, the President of the State Parliament, Elzbieta Witek, decided to repeat this vote amid shouts of protest from the opposition.

The vote was eventually won by the ruling Tories and the meeting resumed Wednesday evening.

In this vote, the Conservatives were supported by some MPs from an anti-system Kukiz 15 group who had supported the adjournment in the first vote.

The results were shouted “crooks, crooks! », Launched by the opposition. Oppositionists who questioned their legality abstained.

The adoption of the media law is expected late in the evening according to Parliament’s schedule.

According to the opposition, this law could threaten press freedom and harm relations with the United States.

The law, the draft of which has already been criticized by Washington, could force the American group Discovery in particular to sell a large part of its shares in the Polish private television broadcaster TVN, which is often critical of the government.

This is an important law for the PiS and its chairman Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who already controls the public television TVP, which has become a state propaganda medium, and, through a state corporation, a large part of the regional press.

The “United Rights” coalition led by Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s populist Law and Justice party (PiS) has ruled Poland since 2015 and is regularly accused by the European Union of undermining democratic freedoms in this country.

The coalition fell victim to power struggles and broke out with the resignation of Jaroslaw Gowin, who was at odds with the PiS, particularly over an upcoming major economic reform and the media law already known as Lex TVN.

Mr. Gowin was fired when thousands of people demonstrated against the law across Poland.

The collapse of the coalition does not mean that the government will automatically overthrow because it would require a formal vote of no confidence in parliament. The government could go on as a minority.

According to observers, these results show that the PiS has a very uncertain majority and must negotiate with MPs from other parties, especially the far right, before any vote.

“The parliamentary majority, stuck in the mud of corruption and blackmail, is collapsing before our eyes,” wrote former EU leader Donald Tusk, who heads the opposition Civic Platform (PO), on Twitter.

“It can go on for a while, but it is no longer able to rule,” he said.

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