Elżbieta Witek did not become a deputy speaker of the Sejm, and Marek Pęk did not become a deputy speaker of the Senate. Both PiS candidacies were defeated in the votes in both chambers. – There is no consent for political arrogance, disregard for political opponents, trampling on parliamentarism – say MPs from the opposition coalition in one breath. PiS politicians are outraged, although they did not support anyone other than their own candidate and the candidate of Confederation in the votes for deputy marshals.
Members of the Sejm of the 10th term have already held their first votes. A new Speaker of the Sejm was elected – Szymon Hołownia – and deputy speakers – Monika Wielichowska and Dorota Niedziela from the Civic Coalition, Piotr Zgorzelski from PSL, Włodzimierz Czarzasty from the New Left and Krzysztof Bosak from Confederation. However, one vacancy remained because the Sejm majority did not agree to Elżbieta Witek from PiS, who was the Speaker of the Sejm in the previous term, taking up the position of deputy speaker.
There has been outrage in Law and Justice since the evening vote. – We cannot have someone deciding who we should nominate as deputy marshal. This is complete absurdity, said Elżbieta Witek. However, as president Jarosław Kaczyński assures, PiS is ready not to have its own deputy marshal. This is quite a real scenario. The largest club may end up without a representative in the Presidium of the Sejm, because there will apparently be no other candidate and the Sejm coalition will not support Elżbieta Witek. – Let them name someone who did not break the constitution and the law – emphasizes Marcin Kierwiński from PO.
The critical position of the democratic opposition was also no secret to PiS members. However, now Law and Justice accuses the new parliamentary majority of dictatorship and breaking standards. – Maybe he will choose the head of the club (the parliamentary majority – editor’s note), for example, let him choose the president of PiS. These are absurdities, emphasizes Marcin Horała from PiS. On the one hand, Law and Justice argues that each club has the right to nominate a candidate, and the parliamentary majority should accept this choice, but PiS itself has not supported the platform’s then candidate, Stefan Niesiołowski, before – for example in 2007, when it was in opposition.
On Monday, PiS supported only two candidates: its own and Confederation’s. The remaining four votes were against. – We voted against the candidacies submitted by those clubs that had already publicly declared that they would not support our candidate – explains Horała. – In my opinion, PiS was aware that it was putting forward a candidate who would not be elected, and that was the point – adds Krzysztof Bosak, deputy marshal and MP of Confederation.
What about the Senate?
Marek Pęk, the vice-marshal of the previous term – the author of the words about the “pro-Russian majority” addressed to the Senate Ethics Committee – did not become the deputy speaker of the Senate. – The sovereign chose us not to deal with PiS members or make arrangements with them, but to hold them accountable – reminds Michał Kamiński, deputy speaker of the Senate. – This is extreme hypocrisy. One standard is for Law and Justice, the second standard is for that entire society (editor’s note) – says Marek Pęk, PiS senator.
Earlier, Law and Justice senators did not support the election of Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska as Senate Speaker, but the lack of deputy marshals is today the reason for PiS accusations directed towards the democratic opposition. – When you build a dictatorship, you give nothing to the opposition – says Marek Suski, PiS MP. – Donald Tusk achieved great success. He ended Szymon Hołownia’s dreams of becoming president. He handled the matter in such a way that, through the hands of Szymon Hołownia, he made the Sejm become part of a great brawl – said Marcin Mastalerek, head of the president’s office.
– This is neither a collapse of the rule of law nor a dictatorship. They had the right to nominate any candidate they wanted. This right was respected by the chamber. But the chamber decided that this person, in its opinion, was not suitable for the position of deputy speaker – explains Szymon Hołownia, Speaker of the Sejm. Right after the votes in the Sejm and Senate, Law and Justice heard an open proposal to submit a new candidate. As the Marshal of the Sejm emphasizes, a position in the Presidium of the Sejm is still waiting for the PiS candidate, but – as PiS assures – there will be no other candidates.
Main photo source: Fakty po Południu TVN24