The second day of the first session of the Sejm of the 10th term aroused great emotions. During the meeting, there was an exchange of opinions between PiS and opposition politicians. There were also sarcastic comments, interruptions of speeches, and testing the new Speaker of the Sejm.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Sejm continued the session that started on Monday. These were supposed to be calm, formal, technical, not to mention boring, deliberations. During the deliberations, the MPs elected four members of the National Council of the Judiciary, but the voting was preceded by a heated discussion.
– The justice system is there to control the authorities, not for the authorities to control the justice system – said Borys Budka, an MP from the Civic Coalition, from the parliamentary podium. However, the speech of the Civic Coalition politician was interrupted by MPs from Law and Justice, which is why the new Speaker of the Sejm decided to raise his voice and call the politicians to order.
However, this was not the last time when Szymon Hołownia had to warn the MPs to remain calm. Especially since when criticism of the recent years of the carefully partisan judiciary came from the parliamentary podium, Minister Zbigniew Ziobro did not want to leave it unanswered. And although his name was not on the list of scheduled speeches, he requested to speak as the Minister of Justice.
In accordance with the regulations, the Marshal of the Sejm had to allow Ziobro to speak, so the Minister of Justice, who was still in office, took the floor. – The time will come when you will also find yourself in the opposition benches, and then you will also be held accountable for violating the constitution, Ziobro said. Then, part of the parliamentary hall, where PiS representatives sit, started chanting the slogan: “constitution.” In response, the opposition started shouting at Ziobro: “you will sit, you will sit.” – I’m counting on you. I hope you won’t be as crazy as you were during the State Tribunal, commented the Minister of Justice.
Exchange of words with the president of PiS
The regulatory trick, which allowed the speaker to speak out of turn, interested President Jarosław Kaczyński himself, who approached Marshal Szymon Hołownia. Although the microphones did not record it, the PiS president allegedly said several times: “Mr. Speaker, I am the Prime Minister, I want to speak.” – I told him whether I maintain my willingness, considering that ministers Schreiber, Szymkowski vel Sęk have already signed up to vote, and the Council of Ministers will be represented at the podium. After this exchange of words, the president returned to his seat – informs the Marshal of the Sejm.
After exchanging words with the PiS president, Szymon Hołownia returned to Zbigniew Ziobro’s speech and then also spoke. – If we were dealing with a situation in which the entire Council of Ministers contacted us to – in my opinion – disrupt the agenda of the Sejm, I would then – by decision of the Marshal, take this decision – the number of speeches by members of the Council of Ministers during this period. I will limit the debates, he said.
The right side of the room did not like this, because more ministers appeared at the Marshal’s office. – If the Minister of the Government of the Republic of Poland and other ministers want to speak here until the morning, the Marshal and all of us have an obligation to listen to them – emphasized Krzysztof Szczucki, PiS MP.
“You also have to be able to offend”
The Minister of Education and Science, Przemysław Czarnek, also spoke, beginning his speech with the words: “Mr. Speaker, Mr. Speaker, rotating, Honorable Member of the Sejm, non-rotating.” However, this was met with a quick reaction from the Speaker of the Sejm. – At this point, Minister, you are violating the authority of this chamber and its bodies. You have 3 minutes to speak, said Szymon Hołownia and waited until the end of the minister’s speech. – I allow myself to speak in accordance with the regulations, but for this I receive something that could be called an affront. If these are your standards of parliamentarism, I must say that I deeply regret it, said the Marshal at the end.
This was not the end of the new marshal’s patience, as PiS politicians were heard making various jokes from the parliamentary benches, mainly about the turnover of the marshal’s function. – I really appreciate your comments and remarks, but I also point out that from my perspective they are becoming a bit monothematic. I encourage you to be more original and intellectual. You also have to be able to offend, commented Hołownia.
The recent opposition was not obliged to exchange parliamentary “pleasures”. – Please tell me how many times you attended the meeting of the National Council of the Judiciary? Even this year? Zero. Please tell me how many open votes you took part in? Zero? And now a note: please tell me how much you earned in the National Court Register? Not zero, said Civic Coalition MP Arkadiusz Myrcha, turning to Zbigniew Ziobro.
Minister Michał Wójcik was also allowed to speak. – As you can see, it is not easy to be the Speaker of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland. We wanted to help you, that’s why yesterday we voted for Mrs. Elżbieta Witek – argued the politician.
During the times of Marshal Witek, there was greater order. Recalcitrant opposition MPs were simply turned off, fined or excluded from Sejm sessions, but there was always time for the president at the Sejm rostrum.
Main photo source: TVN24