The leader of the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, Jarosław Kaczyński, has slammed Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and his government for its attack on Polish public media and other institutions. Kaczyński said that his party would table a motion of no-confidence against the culture minister responsible for the assault.
Acting on instructions contained within a resolution of parliament, Polish Culture Minister Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz on Dec. 20 used the police to seize power and take over public media. This led to a wave of protests and to President Andrzej Duda vetoing a bill making €700 million available to public media.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Kaczyński announced that his party would submit a parliamentary motion of no-confidence against Minister Sienkiewicz. Kaczyński also announced that a demonstration against the minister’s action would be held outside of parliament on Jan. 11.
The conservative Polish leader said that the problems with democracy in Poland are now real, whereas such accusations were false over the past eight years when most of the media were against the government and there had been a change of power due to a free election.
The dispute between government and opposition over the last eight years was essentially one about the functioning of the Polish Constitutional Court, whereas today, the left-liberal government has made it clear that it is prepared to bypass the need for legislation and rule by parliamentary decree.
The PiS leader accused the Tusk government of breaching the principles of the rule of law since major changes were being introduced without a legislative mandate and that political will was now more important than the law. He further accused the Tusk government of working in tandem with the EU establishment and being ready to implement compulsory relocation of illegal migrants into Poland.
“An attack on democracy is also not something that is an end in itself. Of course, it is necessary for this government, but it is primarily needed to achieve a certain goal. This goal, partly realized, is to meet the expectations of those who make decisions in the EU. Thus, above all, the relocation of migrants,” emphasized the PiS leader.
Kaczyński also accused the Tusk government of reneging on its election promises by scrapping the 2 percent mortgage scheme for first-time buyers and raising rather than lowering taxes. He also responded to criticism of high pay rates in the public media during the PiS government by pointing out that similar amounts had been secured by public TV presenters during the previous liberal administration (2007-2015).
Kaczyński then addressed journalists who sympathize with and defend the present government. He said that they were working on a “hopeless cause, as what is happening in Poland is indefensible, and you are paid to defend it. I feel sorry for you,” said Kaczyński before walking out of the press conference.