Row over plans to change Warsaw boundaries
PR dla Zagranicy
Officials from several dozen local government authorities in the Warsaw area have signed an appeal against plans for sweeping administrative changes to the Polish capital.
Warsaw mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz. Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymański
The appeal, against a bill put forward by MPs from the ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, claims the planned changes are unconstitutional, adding that the bill should be withdrawn.
The size of Warsaw as an administrative unit would increase threefold under the bill. Supporters say the changes will make life easier for residents of areas around the capital, improving their access to public transport, education, health services and culture.
Government spokesman Rafał Bochenek told a press conference that the aim of the planned changes to the system of local government was the sustainable development of the Warsaw region.
But Warsaw mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, a deputy leader of the opposition Civic Platform (PO) party, claimed the bill aims to allow PiS to take control of the capital - thanks to voters in areas that will be administratively included in Warsaw, public broadcaster TVP reported.
Katarzyna Lubnauer, of the opposition Nowoczesna party, said: “This is about a naked desire for power. You can see this is set up so that PiS wins elections, despite what Warsaw residents want.”
Under the bill, 32 outlying municipalities would become part of the Warsaw metropolitan area, and would have a say in selecting the capital’s authorities, including the mayor.