Friday, May 29, 2020

Poland: the opposition parties plan to overthrow the government, one of their politicians said too much on live TV

"All opposition leaders, including PO head Boris Budka, agreed to this amendment. (...) I am giving you my holy word of honor" - said Deputy Speaker of the Senate Michał Kamiński during live interview at TVN24 (station owned by Discovery Inc.).

- At the meeting with the Speaker of the Senate, there was a conspiracy to prevent the presidential election from taking place in Poland, so that Marshal Grodzki (Speaker of the Senate) would take over the duties of the head of state - said today MEP Adam Bielan.

It is a very troubling news. If the election is not held by June 28th the new president won't be able to be inaugurated by August 6, as the constitution says, and Poland will not have functioning head of state and the government for several months. 

Here is what is happening:

  • On May 12, the Sejm adopted a new law on presidential elections in 2020. It assumes that in these elections voting will take place at polling stations, but it will also be possible to vote by mail. The Act also requires the Marshal of the Sejm to determine, after consulting the Election Commission (PKW), the so-called electoral schedule, i.e. days on which the deadlines for performing individual electoral activities, provided for in the Electoral Code and in the act (the Commission wants the schedule to be described in the act). 
  • On May 13, the bill was sent to the Senate. Senate committees were expected to work on those changes, but they did not. The Senate is to deal with the bill at a meeting scheduled for Monday (6/1), Tuesday and Wednesday. 
  • The President of Law and Justice party, Jarosław Kaczyński, accused the opposition on Wednesday of deliberately delaying work on this bill in the Senate. He argued that the presidential election should take place on June 28, so that a new president could be sworn in on August 6. 
  • Speaker of the Senate Tomasz Grodzki (KO) has repeatedly assured that the opposition is only about "decency and hard work" on the bill. According to him, the Senate will finish its proceedings next week.


What makes it even stranger is that the Speaker of the Senate is third, not second in line, if the President for some reason is indisposed or removed or killed (like in 2010). The second person in line is the Marshal of the Sejm (equivalent of the Speaker of the House), Elisabeth Witek. The mystery is, how they are gonna work around that. Should she watch her back? 

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