In the clash with Donald Tusk, the Polish president made a 180-degree turn and suffered a significant defeat – this is how the Politico website describes the latest events in Poland. This is about Andrzej Duda’s decision to pardon Mariusz Kamiński and Maciej Wąsik. The foreign press emphasizes that this topic is one of the fields of fierce confrontation between the new Polish government and the previous one.
The President of Poland has once again pardoned two politicians from the previous government – this is the fact that foreign media draw attention to, recalling that Andrzej Duda, even when he applied the law of clemency to the convicted heads of the CBA for the second time, still maintained that his first pardon was still valid. power. “Duda pardoned them in 2015 and assured them that he could not do it again,” writes the Associated Press News.
Andrzej Duda’s Tuesday decision, which resulted in the release of two PiS politicians convicted by a final verdict, was clearly assessed by the Politico website as a failure. “This is a significant defeat for the Polish president, who initially claimed that an earlier pardon would be enough to avoid prison for two PiS politicians. Their case was taken up by party supporters, claiming that both were political prisoners,” journalists say.
Both Politico and Reuters journalists point out that for several weeks, Andrzej Duda has been under increasing pressure from the leaders of Law and Justice to make such a decision. “The President of Poland pardoned two members of the former government (…) in accordance with the demands of the main opposition Law and Justice party, which lost power last month,” we read in a Reuters dispatch.
The British media emphasize that the dispute over Mariusz Kamiński and Maciej Wąsik further highlights the judicial chaos in which Poland currently finds itself. “The systemic changes introduced by PiS – many of which have been deemed illegal by Polish and European courts – have effectively led to the creation of a dual legal regime,” notes “The Guardian.”
A key point of contention
Is it an evolution or a revolution – asks British historian Timothy Garton Ash in a column for the Guardian, emphasizing that the world should draw conclusions from the current situation in Poland, because “restoring democracy is even more difficult than creating it.”
“The last few weeks in Polish politics have been dramatic, angry and sometimes bizarre. Two former ministers convicted of falsifying documents while performing public functions find refuge in the Presidential Palace of their party colleague Andrzej Duda. In his absence, the police arrest them and take them to prison. The president says they are “political prisoners”, (…) PiS is organizing protests in the snow (…), and Jarosław Kaczyński calls them heroes who should be honored with the highest awards. Poland’s truly tragic and inspiring past is turned into a grotesque parody – comments the historian.
The dispute over two PiS politicians is entering another round – says the German “Tagesspiegel”, and “Die Zeit” adds that “the fate of Kamiński and Wąsik has become a key point of contention between the center-left government of Donald Tusk and the national-conservative PiS.”
“Der Spiegel” emphasizes that although the Polish president is not formally a member of Law and Justice, he remains loyal to the party. The French media write in a similar tone about Andrzej Duda’s recent decisions. “The president is defending the interests of PiS. Since the MPs were arrested, the party and its loyalists have been talking about ‘political prisoners’,” we read on the RFI radio website.
This legal drama that has been unfolding in recent weeks was a good illustration of the constant tug-of-war between the new government of Donald Tusk and President Andrzej Duda – sums up French public radio, and “Le Figaro” talks about yet another dividing line between the new and old Polish authorities, which today they are accusing each other of violating the rule of law.
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Main photo source: Piotr Nowak/PAP