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PM sacks justice minister after IVF dispute

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 29.04.2013 16:17
Poland's prime minister Donald Tusk announced, Monday, that he has dismissed Jaroslaw Gowin as minister of justice.
Ex-Justizminister Jarosław Gowin (l.) und Premierminister Donald TuskEx-Justizminister Jarosław Gowin (l.) und Premierminister Donald Tusk

Happier days - Jaroslaw Gowin (left) with PM Tusk: photo - PAP/Radek Pietruszka (archives)

The dismissal follows weeks of conflict between prime minister and Gowin, a leading conservative in the centre-right Civic Platform party, over government policy on state-funded IVF treatment and civil partnerships legislation.

"I have informed Minister Jaroslaw Gowin of the dismissal from his position as minister of justice," Donald Tusk told journalists.

PM Tusk said that Marek Biernacki, a former head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration, will replace Gowin at the Justice Ministry.

Jaroslaw Gowin has been seen as a thorn in Donald Tusk's side for some months, after he led a rebellion of Civic Platform MPs to vote against the prime minister's recommendations on state funding for IVF treatment and legislation that the Civic Platform-led government has been trying to get through parliament on civil partnerships.

But Donald Tusk claimed Monday afternoon that Gowin has not been sacked for his conservative views on social issues, pointing out that Marek Biernacki holds similar opinions.

“And that is why this decision is not related to any ideological dispute,” Tusk said.

Tusk added that it is not Gowin's views that have been the problem but the way he expresses them.

"I have no time to comment every week on a minister’s behaviour only because he goes too far in politicizing the issues which are in the realm of his public activity," Tusk said.

The justice ministry is not the place to “create a political situation embarrassing to the prime minister and government,” he said.

Earlier this month, the German Embassy in Warsaw asked for clarification on a statement by Gowin claiming that Polish embryos were being sold to German scientists for experimentation.

Gowin later claimed his statement had been “manipulated" by the media.

Tusk expressed hope that Gowin would remain in the Civic Platform party – a mixture of social liberals and conservatives – and take part as a backbencher in debates on IVF and civil partnerships in parliament, where “his talents would be best suited”. (pg/mk)

source: PAP

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