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Wałęsa mulls comeback amid political crisis in Poland

PR dla Zagranicy
Alicja Baczyńska 16.12.2015 17:44
Former president Lech Wałęsa said Wednesday he is prepared to resume his role as an opposition leader if Poland, in the grip of a political crisis over the country’s Constitutional Tribunal, doesn’t “come to its senses”.
Lech Wałęsa is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. Photo: PAP/Adam WarżawaLech Wałęsa is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. Photo: PAP/Adam Warżawa

The former leader of the Solidarity movement, which played a key role in the collapse of communism in Poland in 1989, said, “If we don’t come to our senses, I will have to step up again and lead the battle”.

Wałęsa was commenting on an ongoing conflict over changes to the Constitutional Tribunal pushed through by ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party after it came to power following Poland’s 25 October parliamentary elections.

“Believe me, and I know from experience ─ this [situation] is becoming increasingly dangerous,” he said.

Tribunal tribulations

Stoking the row over the powerful Constitutional Tribunal, Law and Justice leader Jarosław Kaczyński likened the conflict between the government and its opponents who raise the issue in Brussels to the struggle between “Gestapo collaborators” and the Polish Home Army (AK) resistance movement during World War II.

PiS has recently forced through the appointment of five new judges to the tribunal, drawing fierce criticism from the opposition.

On Thursday, the parliament is due to consider a Law and Justice bill requiring the Constitutional Tribunal to pass rulings with a two-thirds majority, and with at least 13 out of all 15 judges in attendance.

Observers say the proposed legislation could make it more difficult for the tribunal to deliver rulings which hamper key reforms planned by Law and Justice.

Wednesday saw the official publication of a verdict reached by the Constitutional Tribunal on 3 December which, many experts say, compels the president to swear in three judges nominated by the previous Civic Platform government.

Published in the Journal of Laws, the verdict has now entered into legal force.

The president’s spokesperson, Marek Magierowski, has said, however, that “the release of the verdict does not impact the decision of President [Andrzej Duda]” on refusing to swear in the three judges appointed by Civic Platform.

Meanwhile, speaking in Gdańsk, Wałęsa reiterated his proposal of holding a referendum on early elections in Poland should “the situation in the country deteriorate.” (aba/pk/rg)

Source: IAR, PAP, Wp.pl

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