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Polish President Duda addresses nation

PR dla Zagranicy
Roberto Galea 04.12.2015 08:42
Polish President Andrzej Duda discussed the issue of the Constitutional Tribunal during a TV address to the nation on Thursday.
Polish President Andrzej Duda addressed the nation on Thursday. Photo: screenshot/TVPPolish President Andrzej Duda addressed the nation on Thursday. Photo: screenshot/TVP

“To end the unnecessary undermining of the authority of the most important institutions of Poland, the guardian of the constitution and the continuity of government, I decided to swear in the judges elected [on Wednesday],” said President Duda during a televised address to the nation broadcast on public TVP.

“I followed the will of the newly elected Sejm, which Poles greatly hope will repair the state of the Republic.”

President Duda announced that he will set up a committee of experts to look into the matter of the election of judges by the previous coalition government of Civic Platform (PO) and the Polish People's Party (PSL).

In the address, Andrzej Duda said that the dispute over the election of judges of the Tribunal began in May, when the then-Parliament amended the Act of the previous term of the Constitutional Tribunal, and subsequently chose five new members in October, just days ahead of the general election.

The President added that his swearing in of five judges on Thursday should end the dispute about the composition of the Tribunal. He explained that his decision was led by the will of the “newly elected Sejm” referring to the lower house of Polish Parliament. In the wake of the 25 October elections the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party enjoys a majority in both houses of Parliament.

Andrzej Duda added that the previous makup of the Sejm made a decision which was “legally at fault” in selecting the Tribunal judges, thus violating “a good political custom”.

The issue of the Tribunal judges has stirred controversy with the opposition calling the termination of the terms of PO-PSL-elected judges and the election of new ones as a “creeping coup d'etat”.

The Law and Justice government, meanwhile say that they are “righting the wrongs” of the previous Sejm.

Andrzej Duda is a former PiS MP. (rg/rk)

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