It was probably a difficult day for all new parliamentarians. We have to do something to lower the temperature in the chamber – this is how Szymon Hołownia, the new speaker of this chamber, chairman of Poland 2050 and one of the leaders of the Third Way, assessed Tuesday’s Sejm proceedings in “Kropka nad i” on TVN24. He added that he was “prepared” to impose penalties on people who violate the Rules of Procedure of the Sejm. When asked whether he was tempted to impose a penalty on anyone during Tuesday’s meeting, he replied that “I was one step away from such a decision.”
Szymon Hołownia referred to the course of Tuesday’s deliberations of the Sejm, when the MPs elected four members of the neo-KRS, and the deliberations were accompanied by a heated discussion. Hołownia, for whom it was his first parliamentary experience, had to cool down the emotions in the room. The atmosphere was particularly heated during the ministers’ speeches Zbigniew Ziobro and Przemysław Czarnek.
– It was probably a difficult day for all of us new parliamentarians. These over a hundred people who took their seats in the Sejm for the first time probably sometimes had the impression, as I was talking to them today, that they had bought tickets for a different spectacle, that they were not aware of what was happening in the Sejm hall, which was sometimes not picked up by the microphones – commented Hołownia.
– It was something unbelievable, the screaming, the insulting each other – he added.
Hołownia: it was a day full of challenges
When asked whether he thought he “passed the exam” during Tuesday’s meeting, Hołownia replied: – I don’t know, it was definitely a day full of challenges.
– We have to do something to lower the temperature in the room. We must do something to make this Sejm an effective place to work, he continued. When asked if he felt offended by the statements of some politicians, he replied: – I am distant from myself and it is not easy to provoke or offend me.
At the same time, he admitted that he “really felt a huge burden resting on his shoulders.”
He emphasized that “the Sejm is there to solve people’s problems, to argue, to discuss.” – Don’t turn it into an inn where people shout at each other, insult each other and humiliate each other. Because this is not TikTok, where you will suddenly end up with a lot of likes because you offended someone, he added.
The guest of “Kropka nad i” admitted that he did not expect a scenario in which many members of the government would want to speak one after the other, but he applied the appropriate provision of the Rules of Procedure of the Sejm.
The Marshal of the Sejm gives the floor to members of the Council of Ministers, the President of the Supreme Audit Office, the Head of the Chancellery of the President and the Secretary of State in the Chancellery of the President replacing the Head of the Chancellery of the President at a given meeting, outside the order of speakers registered to speak, whenever they request it.
– Yesterday I also saw a certain thread of understanding that was established between me and Mr. Ziobro. Because this is a minister who was not allowed to the podium by Marshal Terlecki, pursuant to the same article of the Rules of Procedure of the Sejm, even though he had asked for it many times – recalled Hołownia, referring to the situation from the previous term of office of the Sejm.
Did he want to impose penalties? “I was one step away from such a decision”
Szymon Hołownia was asked whether he would impose financial penalties on people who violate the Rules of Procedure of the Sejm.
– I’m prepared for it. The Marshal of the Sejm has several courses of action at his disposal. I am prepared for all of them, but I strongly believe that perhaps the deliberations on Tuesday (November 21 – editor) will be a little calmer, he said.
When asked if he was tempted to impose a penalty on anyone during Tuesday’s meeting, he replied: – Yes, it was a close step. There is a paragraph that talks about violating the authority of the Sejm and it results in financial liability. This is not a long procedure. I was close to making such a decision, but fortunately the room calmed down.
Hołownia on the exchange of words with Jarosław Kaczyński
Hołownia also described his exchange with PiS president Jarosław Kaczyński, which took place during Tuesday’s meeting.
– I had a conversation with President Kaczyński the previous day of the meeting. We talked about the barriers around the Sejm. He shared his observations, fears and experiences. When he approached me yesterday (Tuesday – editor), it was not only about the fact that he wanted to speak, but also drew my attention to the fact that, in his opinion, there was no time limit for the speeches of government members, he explained.
– I informed the president that (…) two government representatives took the floor, and more are coming forward. I understand that they will speak on behalf of the government. However, I must admit that he spoke in a non-confrontational way, very calmly – he added.
Hołownia said that there was no aggression, no humiliation, no shouting on Kaczyński’s part. – We simply exchanged procedural remarks during the Sejm session – he explained.
Hołownia: there is a place in the Sejm presidium for a deputy marshal from PiS
Hołownia was also asked why he did not support the candidacy Elżbieta Witek for the function of deputy speaker of the Sejm.
– Because, looking at Polish politics, this is how I evaluate her actions as the Speaker of the Sejm. She is an MP, an MP. Nothing will blur this mandate, nothing will erase it. She deserves full respect. However, the chamber assessed her behavior as marshal. This is how she assessed her competences when it comes to taking the position of deputy marshal. However, in terms of the political system, there is a place for a deputy marshal from PiS in the presidium, he said. He added that he would be “the happiest man in the world” when the seat in the Sejm presidium intended for a PiS representative was filled. – The cabinet will wait as long as necessary for the PiS deputy marshal, and PiS deserves this place.
Marshal of the Sejm: work is underway on the draft resolution regarding judges of the Constitutional Tribunal
Hołownia was asked whether, in his opinion, the situation in the judiciary could be changed with the help of resolutions.
– This is a difficult issue. In my opinion, we should first have a very long conversation, these conversations have already started between our lawyers, how to carry it out so that it will be successful, that is, it will end with the healing of the National Council of the Judiciary, and not another political manifestation. The Constitutional Tribunal will also have to be dealt with. However, I see other priorities in this first horizon of the Sejm’s work, said the Marshal of the Sejm.
He said that next Tuesday, during the remainder of its first session, the Sejm still had to choose the composition of numerous permanent parliamentary committees and the composition of the State Tribunal. – We’ll have a lot of things like choice National Electoral Commission – he said.
When asked whether he would decide to deal with “resolutions regarding the rule of law” at the next session of the Sejm, the Speaker of the Sejm said that he would like to see these resolutions.
– I know that work is underway on the draft resolution regarding judges of the Constitutional Tribunal, (…). As far as I know, there is no draft resolution on the National Council of the Judiciary. We’ll see what the coming days will bring, but we have to work hard, in a certain rhythm, in a certain order – said Hołownia.
Main photo source: TVN24