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PiS wants to increase the powers of Andrzej Duda. “The constitution says very clearly…”

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President Andrzej Duda wants more powers in EU matters – at the expense of the government. The bill has already been considered by the parliamentary committee. The rulers support the president’s idea and talk about cooperation between the authorities. The opposition calls the move unconstitutional and sees it as a political escape for those currently in power in case they lose the election.

It took PiS thirteen and a half hours to grant the president new and important powers. Pursuant to the provisions of the act, the government, immediately after receiving them, provides the president with documents from the European Union in connection with the meetings of the European Council, to which the president may present his position.

– Matters of international contacts are the responsibility of the government. The proposed changes are to be agreed or consulted with the president. But the decision belongs to the government, explains Professor Andrzej Zoll, former president of the Constitutional Tribunal, in the Polish system.

In line with the changes during Poland’s EU presidency, the president attends meetings of the European Council. So far, the Polish representative has been the prime minister. – In 2025 there will be another Polish presidency and, indeed, this initiative, which concerns the Council of the European Union, needs to be thoroughly and well prepared – explains Paweł Sałek from the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland.

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“This situation can be called either corruption or prostitution”

The opposition still remembers the chair dispute between President Lech Kaczyński and Prime Minister Donald Tusk. Now PiS explains that it wants to avoid this situation. – Developing this cooperation is extremely important – emphasizes Sylwester Tułajew, PiS MP. Three months before the elections, PiS emphasizes the importance of cooperation between the two centers of power and how important are those changes that PiS did not carry out during the two terms of co-governance with Andrzej Duda.

– This situation can be called either corruption or prostitution, because it boils down to the fact that Andrzej Duda will sell his charms in the PiS election campaign, and the price for this will be positions that he will be able to fill in European institutions – believes Jarosław Wałęsa , MP. The president gains influence over the filling of prestigious EU positions. Therefore, it may simply refuse to designate a candidate proposed by the government. – The constitution very clearly states who conducts foreign policy. This is done by the Council of Ministers. Changing the constitution by law makes no sense, it is simply unlawful – claims Grzegorz Schetyna, former foreign minister, PO MP.

The president wants more powers in EU politics. “All these solutions are unconstitutional”Martyna Olkowicz/Fakty po Poludnie TVN24

Change of mind?

The government may change in three months, and the president’s powers will remain. – The law does not change before the elections. The law is not changed in such a way as to limit (the power – editor’s note) the possible winner of the election, and certainly when it comes to legislative proceedings. What is currently being done in the Sejm is simply outrageous, believes Professor Zoll.

In 2015, when Andrzej Duda was receiving the act of election for president, and parliamentary elections were to take place in a few months, the president-elect appealed to the ruling Civic Platform (PO) not to make any political changes during the transition period. Now his office argues that the changes have nothing to do with the upcoming elections.

– What is very important, the act is created in absolute isolation from the specific political situation, it is not an episodic act, it is not an act written for a specific government and for a specific president – assures Małgorzata Paprocka, minister in the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland. However, the opposition has a different opinion on this matter. – PiS simply wants to secure its influence on the state, even through the president, because it knows that it will most likely lose the election in the autumn – convinces Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk, a member of the New Left. The current president will cooperate with the newly elected government for just over a year.

Main photo source: Facts after noon TVN24

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