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President says Poles’ future at stake in his spat with justice minister

PR dla Zagranicy
Grzegorz Siwicki 09.10.2017 08:30
President Andrzej Duda has said that his ongoing dispute with Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro over judicial reforms is “a dispute over the future of the country, the future of my compatriots."
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In an apparent reference to Ziobro’s United Poland (SP) party, Duda said he was being attacked by “one of the coalition partners” of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party.

United Poland is a socially conservative party headed by Ziobro that forms the government of Beata Szydło together with PiS and the Poland Together group led by Deputy Prime Minister and Science and Higher Education Minister Jarosław Gowin.

PiS, United Poland and Poland Together teamed up to establish the United Right, an election coalition that won the country’s 2015 parliamentary elections by a landslide.

Duda, who hails from the PiS party, also said that it was "not the Law and Justice community" that was attacking him.

Speaking in an interview for the Do Rzeczy weekly, Duda suggested that after parliamentary elections in 2011 Ziobro “betrayed Law and Justice” and attempted to break up the party and its parliamentary caucus.

Duda also said in the interview: “This is not about Minister X or Minister Y, but about every justice minister who is prosecutor-general at the same time and who in my opinion should not have as much power over the Supreme Court as the law passed by parliament would have given him.”

Conservative leader: 'generational disputes between 40-year-olds'

Jarosław Kaczyński, the leader of Poland’s ruling conservatives, has said in a recent media interview that he would not agree to superficial changes in the country’s justice system.

Speaking to the Gazeta Polska weekly, Kaczyński admitted there were tensions between the government and President Duda after the latter in late July vetoed two of three controversial government-backed bills that would have given politicians sweeping powers in appointing and dismissing court judges.

Duda then submitted his own proposals for reorganising the country's Supreme Court and the National Council of the Judiciary, which reviews and assesses candidates for judges.

Kaczyński said the ruling majority would "do everything to maintain unity," but added that this must be done "within the limits of common sense."

When asked to comment on reported tensions between Duda and Ziobro over legal changes, Kaczyński said he "does not want to deal with generational disputes between 40-year-olds.” (gs/pk)

Source: PAP

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