‘Creeping coup in Poland’ – Conservative leader Jarosław Kaczyński calls for a ‘front to defend democracy’

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, center, leader of right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party that lost power in the October parliamentary elections, protests the moves by the new left-liberal government on Thursday, Jan 11, 2024 when tens of thousands of people gathered in Warsaw in support of PiS. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
3 Min Read

Jarosław Kaczyński, the head of Poland’s Law and Justice (PiS) party, has declared the emergence of “a creeping coup in Poland,” calling for the formation of a “front to defend democracy” to counter this development.

In a statement made outside the National Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw, Kaczyński expressed his belief that Poland is currently facing a covert attempt at a coup. He alleged an unlawful attempt to seize power within the prosecutor’s office in an effort to forcibly change the system of government.

Kaczyński, accompanied by other PiS politicians, including Mariusz Błaszczak and Mateusz Morawiecki, arrived at the National Prosecutor’s Office on Wednesday evening. According to media reports, there was an alleged “forcible takeover attempt” by Justice Minister and General Prosecutor Adam Bodnar, assisted by the prison service.

Kaczyński claimed that there was an unlawful entry into the National Prosecutor’s Office and an illegal attempt to take over power by an acting official. Minister Bodnar was directly involved, attempting to enter the office and have two prosecutors conduct an inventory, which they legally refused. Kaczyński noted that Prosecutor Dariusz Barski opposed these illegal actions and considered resigning.

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Kaczyński labeled the current situation as “a creeping coup,” emphasizing that it represents a crisis defined by law, with potential legal consequences ranging from 10 years to life imprisonment. He accused the current government of committing a crime, not just through this incident but through a series of events since Dec. 13, when Donald Tusk’s left-liberal government was sworn in.

The PiS leader expressed hope in President Andrzej Duda, urging him to convene the Cabinet Council and the National Security Council, and to possibly take further actions to restore the functioning of the constitution and law in Poland.

Kaczyński criticized the Tusk government, alleging they feel emboldened by support from various sources, especially Germany, and assume they can act without consequence. He expressed hope that these actions will not go unpunished and reiterated the need for a rapid formation of organizations and popular support against the Tusk government’s actions.

At the conference outside the National Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw, former Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki condemned the current government’s actions as “pushing the boundaries of lawlessness.”

The Ministry of Justice, however, denied any forcible takeover of the National Prosecutor’s Office, stating that Minister Bodnar’s presence there was routine, given his dual role as justice minister and general prosecutor.

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