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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Politicians and experts ask about the limits of parliamentary interventions. The Prime Minister announces the abolition of immunities

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Due to the presidential veto, the Minister of Culture announces the liquidation of public media. Law and Justice politicians are still on duty in the TVP and PAP buildings. However, politicians of the parliamentary majority and lawyers have doubts whether the law is being broken during parliamentary interventions. Material from the “Poland and World” magazine.

“Due to the decision of the President of the Republic of Poland to suspend financing of public media, I have decided to put into liquidation the companies Telewizja Polska SA, Polskie Radio SA and the Polish Press Agency SA,” the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage announced on Wednesday.

Formerly president Andrzej Duda he vetoed a budget-related bill in which the government wanted to allocate PLN 3 billion to public media.

The situation in the public media is currently stalemate. Since December 20, there has been a dispute over who is the president of TVP, Polish Radio and the Polish Press Agency. Law and Justice politicians do not recognize the changes introduced by the Minister of Culture and spent Christmas not in their homes, but primarily in the TVP building and the PAP headquarters. They are on duty there day and night, 24 hours a day.

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Questions about the limits of parliamentary interventions

What did this “on duty” look like for Antoni Macierewicz? There were major fights at the PAP headquarters PiS MPnot allowing an employee of the Polish Press Agency to enter – all this, according to Law and Justice parliamentarians, as part of parliamentary interventions to which MPs and senators are entitled.

– I believe that if we suspect that unauthorized persons are entering the premises of public media, we have the right to take action and find out about the situation – argues Paweł Jabłoński from PiS.

Photo from December 21

PiS MPs Paweł Jabłoński, Przemysław Czarnek, Jan Kanthak and Olga Semeniuk and the current president of PAP Wojciech Surmacz at the headquarters of the Polish Press AgencyPhoto from December 21PAP/Szymon Pulcyn

Deputy Minister of Justice Krzysztof Śmiszek claims that “this is an absolute overstepping of the powers granted by the law.” He himself carried out many such interventions as an MP. – This is the opportunity that parliamentarians have to enter the building, check documents, explain a specific matter and that’s it, this is the sacred right of MPs.

What is happening at the headquarters of TVP and PAP raises serious legal doubts, the deputy minister points out. – You can’t pull anyone, push anyone and definitely play cop – he adds.

PiS MPs at the TVP headquartersPAP/Leszek Szymański

Lawyers on the behavior of PiS politicians at the headquarters of TVP and PAP

The lawyers we talked to advise parliamentarians to read carefully what possibilities are and are not provided by the Act on the exercise of the mandate of a deputy and senator. There is not a word about detaining anyone.

– This is an abuse of authority. Parliamentary intervention is not an authorization for any behavior, it doesn’t work that way – points out lawyer Sylwia Gregorczyk-Abram.

Marek Błoński, appointed president of PAP, surrounded by PiS MPs at the headquarters of the Polish Press AgencyPAP/Szymon Pulcyn

– A parliamentary intervention is not a parliamentary occupation – emphasizes prof. Maciej Gutowski from the University of Adam Mickiewicz in Poznań. – The MP cannot stay in the building as much as he likes. He has the right to demand clarification of the matter, and the institution has 14 days to respond to him, he adds.

Law and Justice MPs announce that they do not intend to leave the TVP and PAP buildings. They claim that they do not hinder anyone’s work, and their shifts are scheduled several days in advance. – The act does not specify how long we can be there, whether it is an hour, two hours or a day – says Jan Mosiński from PiS.

The Prime Minister announces the removal of immunities

The lawyers’ attention was drawn to a photo of Anna Zalewska from inside the Polish Press Agency. The lawyers remind the former Minister of Education and all MEPs that although, like their colleagues from Wiejska, they have immunity, they do not have the right to intervene as MPs in Poland.

– The law clearly states that this goes beyond the powers of an MEP – says lawyer Mariusz Paplaczyk. – The MEP was elected to work in the European Parliament and that is where his activity should be – he explains.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk When asked about the consequences for MPs who intervene illegally, he responds firmly. – Everyone will be responsible individually for what they did. It doesn’t matter whether she is a parliamentarian or a PiS parliamentarian. It doesn’t matter. We will also vote to lift the immunities of all those who decided to break and violate the law. There will be no sacred cows, announces the Prime Minister.

Main photo source: PAP/Leszek Szymański

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