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Change, not revolution needed in Polish judiciary: president

PR dla Zagranicy
Grzegorz Siwicki 27.09.2017 11:50
People in Poland want to see positive change, not a revolution, in the country’s judiciary, President Andrzej Duda has said in a press interview.
President Andrzej Duda. Photo: PAP/Marcin BieleckiPresident Andrzej Duda. Photo: PAP/Marcin Bielecki

Legal reforms in Poland “must be deep, but they do not have to be revolutionary,” Duda said in his first media interview after submitting proposals for changes in Poland’s justice system.

Duda told the Dziennik Gazeta Prawna daily in the interview that the most fundamental differences between him and the ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party were about whether the “government camp” should be given the power to elect "all 15 members" of the National Council of the Judiciary (KRS), a panel that reviews and assesses candidates for judges.

He also said that PiS “would probably prefer to dismiss the entire Supreme Court" in one fell swoop, but "I do not agree with that.”

Asked if he has “parted ways" with PiS, the party from which he hails, on legal reforms, Duda said: "Some people are trying to create such an impression. But they are harming not so much me but Law and Justice in this way. We differ on methods, but not on goals.”

He added: “It is no accident that I always was a moderate politician within PiS.”

Asked if was ready to veto his own proposals if they were modified substantially by the ruling party during work in parliament, Duda said he would "not agree to have the National Council of the Judiciary elected by votes from a single party."

Unity, not divisions

Duda denied he was blocking changes promised by the country’s governing conservatives during their election campaign. He said the PiS party’s election platform did not include a plan to “phase out the entire Supreme Court” or a plan to "elect all 15 members of the KRS with the votes of PiS” lawmakers.

He also said: “If anyone is blaming for me for some measure of moderation, my answer is: that's exactly why the Polish people chose me as president -- not because I wanted to create divisions, and because I wanted unity."

People "want a positive change, not a positive revolution," Duda added, in a reference to the main election slogan of the Law and Justice party, which promised to bring "positive change" to the country.

Duda's proposals for reorganising Poland's Supreme Court and the judiciary council were submitted to parliament on Tuesday, officials said. (gs/pk)

Source: PAP

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