On Tuesday afternoon, MPs debated a draft resolution establishing the first of three parliamentary investigative commissions – for envelope elections. KO MP Zbigniew Konwiński spoke about starting “restoring true law and true justice” in Poland. Left MP Joanna Scheuring-Wielgus, addressing PiS politicians, emphasized that “every step, every decision and every signature must be carefully checked, examined, traced, and any guilty parties must be punished.”
The first reading of the draft resolution submitted by the Civic Coalition regarding the establishment of an investigative commission into the so-called envelope elections took place in the Sejm. The Commission is to examine the legality, regularity and purposefulness of the actions taken to prepare and conduct the elections of the President of the Republic of Poland in 2020 in the form of postal voting.
After the debate, the project was sent for further processing in the Legislative Committee.
Konwiński to PiS MPs: you behaved as if you were to rule forever
The justification for the draft resolution was presented by Zbigniew Konwiński from the Civic Coalition. In his opinion, “the last eight years show, on the one hand, the hypocrisy of those in power when they said they would take care of our security,” and on the other, how far they were willing to go, breaking all the rules, to achieve their own advantage.
– You went so far as to organize elections when there was no legal basis for it. This will have to be answered. This will have to be accounted for, he said, addressing the members of the PiS club.
– Over the last few years, we have heard from our voters: “you have to hold them accountable,” he added. – That is why we are obliged to do so, today we are starting the process of appointing the first investigative commissions, we are also starting to restore real law and real justice in Poland – said the KO MP.
– When the whole world, the whole of Europe, everyone was fighting the pandemic, you, your colleagues, were doing business on the pandemic and engaged in envelope elections to increase your electoral chances – said Konwiński. – You acted as if you were going to rule forever – he added.
Konwiński assessed that PiS politicians, including the Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, they broke the law. According to the KO MP, the Prime Minister violated them by issuing orders on April 16 to Poczta Polska and Polska Wytwórnia Papierów Wartościowych to start preparations for postal elections. According to the KO MP, the Prime Minister and PiS politicians created electoral procedures illegally and exposed the State Treasury to great costs.
– We promised this to the voters and we are starting today. We are moving for justice – he concluded his speech.
Czarnek: we will support an investigative commission on envelope elections if it is legal
PiS MP Przemysław Czarnek said that the investigative commission would show, “if it acts in accordance with the law, the absolutely unconstitutional operation of the Civic Platform and the entire so-called democratic opposition, and in fact the undemocratic opposition.”
Czarnek recalled that the presidential elections were called in February 2020, and at the beginning of March the first case of coronavirus was registered in Poland and in the same month an epidemic was introduced in the country. – Elections were ordered for May 10 and there is no provision that could cause these elections to be postponed – he added.
– You have discovered your interest in torpedoing the duties of officials and ministers of the Polish state, democratic duties arising directly from the provisions of the constitution – said Czarnek. According to him, this was due, among other things, to the fact that the PO candidate for president Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska had low support in the polls. – This was the first reason why you opposed the constitution of the Republic of Poland and this is what the work of the parliamentary investigative commission will cover, if it is lawful – he added.
Moreover, according to Czarnek, the opposition wanted to use the situation for political gain. – You thought that we wouldn’t be able to cope with this situation – he pointed out. He recalled that the opposition at that time demanded that the elections be postponed until autumn 2020, i.e. during the second wave of the pandemic.
– We knew that we had an obligation to hold elections, that we had an obligation to hold them, we did not invent anything new – he said. – We wanted to use methods that would ensure that the constitutional obligations of the Polish state are fulfilled. Because it was our duty to hold elections, Czarnek argued.
The PiS MP recalled that the Act on the Sejm Investigative Committee stipulates, among other things, that its composition must represent all parliamentary clubs, depending on their number. – Therefore, we will submit the candidacies of four of our members to each committee, including this one. And we must have four members on this commission if it is to be legal. If it is legal, we will vote in favor of adopting this resolution on the commission of inquiry into envelope elections, Czarnek said.
Tomczyk with a message to Czarnek
MP KO Cezary Tomczyk he emphasized that the offenses from the PiS government would be brought to justice. – Today we are starting envelope elections and we will do it very well, in the name of what the real Prime Minister Donald Tusk was talking about – he noted. He emphasized that the current actions of the MPs are the implementation of the second point of the announcement of PO leader Donald Tusk – i.e. “settlement of evil”.
As he assessed, four men: Mateusz Morawiecki, PiS president Jarosław Kaczyński, former minister of state assets Jacek Sasin and head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration Mariusz Kamiński “wanted to hold illegal presidential elections in Poland.” – It failed, but PLN 70 million was irretrievably wasted – he noted. He emphasized that Jarosław Kaczyński said that the idea of envelope elections “was his.”
Tomczyk referred to Czarnek’s words. He ironically called him an “icon of honesty of the Republic of Poland.” – The man from “villa plus”. I have only one message for you: your case will not require an investigative commission, the prosecutor will be enough. “Cash and impunity” – this should be your election slogan, because that’s what it’s really about. Either your governments are about money or about impunity, said Tomczyk, addressing Czarnek and PiS MPs in the Sejm.
A rant about the “mother of all scandals”
KO MP Michał Szczerba said that the resolution of this scandal by the investigative commission is important because it is the “mother of all scandals”.
– It is said that one “assass” went to the envelope elections. This is a new PiS currency unit, it is worth PLN 70 million, he said.
Romowicz: bad local government officials stood in the way of happiness
Member of Parliament from the Poland 2050 – Third Way club, Bartosz Romowicz, recalled that Article 7 of the Constitution states that public authorities act on the basis and within the limits of the law. As he stated, the rush to maintain power at all costs obscured the basics of constitutional law for some PiS politicians.
– It has come to the point that the role of the National Electoral Commission has been taken over by politicians. Tomasz Zdzikot, acting president of Poczta Polska, was appointed especially for the elections and is currently the president of KGHM Polska Miedź as a reward for his loyalty. The Polish Security Printing Works was involved because someone had to print it all. When the PiS government used all subordinate services, inspections and institutions, there was a problem where to get voter data, and bad local government officials stood in the way of happiness, said Romowicz. He indicated that he was one of the local government officials who opposed the disclosure of voter data.
Marcin Skonieczka (Poland 2050 – Third Road) said that Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, when issuing the order to conduct elections by Poczta Polska, acted without a legal basis, and based on this order, the management board of Poczta Polska tried to extort data from the voters’ list kept by municipalities.
– As a mayor, but also many local government officials in Poland, reported to the prosecutor’s office about a suspicion of committing a crime. Unfortunately, due to the politicization of the prosecutor’s office, all these cases were swept under the carpet. Therefore, an investigative commission is needed to thoroughly investigate these events and identify people who undertook illegal actions, said Skonieczka. He stated that his club supports the draft resolution on the establishment of an investigative commission.
Nowogórska: there have been many uncertainties related to envelope elections
MP Urszula Nowogórska (PSL-Trzecia Droga) noticed that there were many uncertainties in the public space related to envelope elections.
– If this commission is created, which we strongly support, it will be staffed by 11 MPs who will carry out their work diligently, of course in accordance with the law, which has been called into question here – she emphasized, alluding to the speech of PiS MP Przemysław Czarnek.
Nowogórska pointed out, among other things, that the acquisition and processing of voters’ personal data by Poczta Polska was illegal, and the company was left with 26 million electoral packages. – The question arises how these packages were stored, who supervised their storage, how they were destroyed, and whether it was done in accordance with the law – said the MP. She declared that the PSL-TD club would support the creation of an investigative commission.
Scheuring-Wielgus to PiS politicians: every step you take must be traced and any guilty parties punished
Left MP Joanna Scheuring-Wielgus recalled that according to the Supreme Audit Office, envelope elections cost PLN 76,507.4 thousand. – The Supreme Audit Office’s report leaves no stone unturned on these would-be elections – she said.
– The financial aspect is one side of the coin and it is very important, because it is safe to say that Mr. Jacek Sasin, Mateusz Morawiecki, Mariusz Kamiński and Michał Dworczyk utilized over PLN 70 million. For these 70 million, you could have bought at least four million meals for children and teenagers at school or bought a thousand respirators, which were very much needed at that time, said Scheuring-Wielgus.
In her opinion, Law and Justice was never about “neither democracy, nor about voting, nor about the health of Polish women and men”, but about “in the Covid confusion as quickly as possible, without any fuss, it is best to push Andrzej for another term in the first round.” Duda”. – You simply came to the conclusion that this presidency should be extended by all means – in violation of the regulations, without legal basis, simply out of luck – said the MP to PiS politicians.
– I am very glad that now, in November, it is time for accountability, because every step, decision and signature must be carefully checked, examined, and any guilty parties punished. This will not be done by the cancer-stricken prosecutor’s office, which you still rule, but by the investigative commission on whose appointment we will vote, she emphasized.
Tumanowicz: this is the tip of the iceberg
Confederation MP Witold Tumanowicz said, addressing PiS politicians, that the issue of appointing a commission to investigate envelope elections “is actually a part of the entire disastrous Covid policy of which you are a symbol.” He assessed that the elections were “one and only element”.
– This is the tip of the iceberg. These are all the tricks and crazy things you did in the face of the so-called pandemic. A commission of inquiry into this policy should also be established here. We have also submitted such a project, such a resolution, to such a committee, and I hope that the High Chamber will agree to appoint such a committee, he added.
Tumanowicz declared that the Confederation would vote for the establishment of a commission for envelope elections. As he said, the Confederation will “hold to account” both PiS and PO.
After a series of questions from MPs, the Sejm moved on to the debate on the resolution on the establishment of an investigative committee for Pegasus.
Main photo source: TVN24