Kaczynski’s ruling PiS (Law & Justice) party has, since its election, been rapidly demolishing the process of democracy in Poland. The PiS party has crushed the power of the opposing parties and state institutions that had the ability to stand in its way. In July 2017, the party introduced a bill attacking the independence of the judiciary and despite street protests and chaotic and angry scenes in the house, and this bill has now passed.
This bill will mean that judges will be in direct control of the justice minister, with the right to dismiss and nominate judges, destroying the independent body that would perform this function. This is just the latest in a series of disastrous moves that PiS has made against the democratic process in Poland and the situation is now so grave that the EU is on the brink of using its powers to ban Poland from future voting rights within the EU saying “these moves are against fundamental EU principles”. Sadly for Poland there looks to be no return to rational behavior on the cards for PiS, as they are continually aggressive, erratic and threatening against protestors, opposition politicians and the media.
Poland’s governing Law and Justice party claim the disaster resulted from a possible assassination at the hands of Russian secret services, perhaps in collusion with members of the Polish government. This is not the fleeting obsession of a grieving brother however, this incident has been used as a political tool to distract and create enemies at the gates used to justify the actions of the PiS party.
Part of the biggest subversion of democracy in the country is the fact that the person in control of the country is not actually the prime minister or president. PiS is the controlling party in the country and it has both the presidential and prime ministerial positions, plus a majority in parliament (of only four MPs), but the real leader of the country is Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the PiS party leader. Despite merely being an MP in terms of official governmental position, he is widely known to be effectively ruling the country and both prime minister and president serve his interests whilst he remains largely in the shadows dictating the plays of his fiercely loyal party.
There has been a great many moves made by PiS to curb the democratic process in Poland and prevent the opposition or the constitution and courts from blocking them. The government has introduced dramatic and controversial reforms in all areas of Polish life, some successful some not so, such as attempts to ban abortion, military reform, declaring Jesus the King of Poland, providing heavy funding for families with children, taking control of state media, reducing the power of the courts, and reforming education to provide less science.
Should Poland lose its voting rights that will be an extremely big call from the EU, as the country may be isolated even further and it could lead to a series of events where Poland tries to leave the EU as a result. The EU has stated that upholding its fundamental principles is more important than retaining any one particular member. Poland is very reliant on EU funding and should this happen, Poland would be in dire straits.
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