Commentary V4

Speaker of the Sejm resigns amid flights controversy

Speaker of the Sejm Marek Kuchciński has resigned due to “social expectations” in the face of controversies surrounding his own flights.

“I inform that tomorrow (Friday, August 9th), I plan to hand in my resignation from the position of Speaker of the Sejm, which I had been entrusted with on November 12th, 2015. I would like to underline that during my term I had not broken the law,” Kuchciński announced at a press conference. 

The Speaker claimed that his large number of flights were due to him adopting a work model which forced him to work not only in Warsaw, but also all around the country and abroad.

“Because the public opinion has negatively evaluated my actions, I decided that I can no longer fulfil this function,” he added.

After a meeting of his party’s leadership concerning Kuchciński’s flights, Jarosław Kaczyński emphasized that Kuchciński had not broken any laws, nor any customs. 

Kaczyński did acknowledge, however, that a large part of society has a different opinion and pointed out that the Speaker’s decision is “proof of the attitude, which is connected with our slogan: listen to Poles, serve Poland.”

At the end of July, the media informed that Speaker Kuchciński had taken members of his family aboard government airplanes. He also admitted that his wife had flown on government aircraft at least once. The news sparked nationwide controversy in Poland and several people called for the Speaker’s resignation. 

As compensation for the 23 flights, Kuchciński paid PLN 5,000 to the Budzik Clinic and PLN 10,000 to Caritas, as well as PLN 28,000 to the armed forces modernization fund for his wife’s flight. 

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