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Justice minister's fate in the balance

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 29.04.2013 07:51
PM Donald Tusk says a decision on whether maverick justice minister Jaroslaw Gowin will stay in the government will be taken on Monday, following controversial statements on IVF.
Jarosław GowinJarosław GowinWikipedia CC piotr Drabik Dudek1337

Jaroslaw Gowin: photo - Wikipedia CC Piotr Drabik/Dudek1337

“This issue will find its conclusion on Monday,” Prime Minister Donald Tusk said when asked about the fate of Jaroslaw Gowin in the government following his claim that Polish embryos were being exported to Germany for experimentation by scientists.

The German Embassy in Warsaw asked for clarification after Gowin – who leads the conservative faction in the centre-right Civic Platform party – told a 24 news station: “German scientists are importing embryos from other countries - probably also from Poland - and are conducting experiments on them.”

Gowin later claimed his remarks had been “manipulated by the media” and that all he wanted to do was bring attention to the fact that trade in embryos for experimentation is not restricted in Poland.

The statement however came after Gowin - made justice minister after the 2011 general election - had backed a more restrictive programme on state-funding for IVF in Poland than that which was ultimately pushed through by Tusk and Health Minister Bartosz Arkulowicz last year.

Gowin has since clashed with the prime minister on prospective laws on civil partnerships, which he vehemently opposes.

Members of Civic Platform, the senior partner in the governing coalition, have told the PAP news agency that it is possible that Gowin will be forced to resign his post, although his departure could wait for the cabinet reshuffle PM Tusk has promised for the summer.

“It seems to me that Donald Tusk has long since decided to not just get rid of Jaroslaw Gowin from government, but also perhaps from the party,” says Jarosław Sellin of the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, which has tried in the past to tempt Gowin over to the opposition benches in parliament. (pg)

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