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Justice minister remains in government after civil partnerships row

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 04.03.2013 15:29
PM Tusk has said that Poland's justice minister will remain in the Civic Platform/PSL coalition, following a conflict over finding a unified stance on civil partnerships.

Minister Gowin arrives for crunch meeting with PM Tusk: photo - PAP/Jakub Kamińsk

After two meetings on Monday between Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Justice Minister Jaroslaw Gowin, a leading member of the conservative faction within the ruling Civic Platform party, the head of government told journalists: “Minister Gowin will remain in office”.

Speaking at Warsaw's military airport before flying in to Hanover in Germany for a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel, where they will be opening a trade fair, Donald Tusk added, “we needed a few days to give us a chance to think about whether we can make arrangements whereby we can continue to cooperate. Today Minister Gowin convinced me that this is possible”.

Before his one-hour meeting with Donald Tusk this morning, Jaroslaw Gowin told reporters he wanted to remain in government “but not at any price”.

In January, Minister Gowin led conservative opposition within Civic Platform against three different bills on civil partnerships, claiming that they would violate article 18 of Poland's Constitution, which guarantees the status of the institution of marriage.

PM Tusk vowed on Monday to continue to try and agree a single piece of legislation that would satisfy both liberal and conservative wings of the ruling centre-right party over the issue.

Tusk said that he will review the situation of Gowin's place in the government again before a major canbinet reshuffle planned in the summer.

When it was announced on Thursday that Tusk would be meeting with the justice minister to decide his fate within the governing coalition, Gowin tweeted: “I don't like Mondays,” after the 1980s Boomtown Rats hit.

“It seems to me that the prime minister wants to humiliate Jaroslaw Gowin for his independent policy, which is above that of Civic Platform's,” said the Law and Justice (PiS) conservative opposition party deputy leader Mariusz Kaminski.

“The crisis within Civic Platform is becoming more visible,” he said, adding, however, that it would be too risky for Prime Minister Tusk to throw Gowin out of the ruling party, as the justice minister leads quite a large group of MPs in parliament who feel uncomfortable with Tusk's more liberal politics on social issues. (pg)

source: PAP

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