Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, has argued that lack of representatives of the party that won October elections in the parliament authorities indicates “a specific form of retaliation”.
Although the ruling socially-conservative Law and Justice (PiS) gained the largest share of the vote in the October 15 elections, it lacks the parliamentary majority to remain in power. Three main opposition groupings, the Civic Coalition (KO), the Third Way and the New Left hope to form a coalition government.
On November 13, the Sejm, lower house of the new parliament, elected Szymon Holownia, a centre-right opposition politician, as the speaker during its first key vote. He was backed by 265 MPs in a 460-seat chamber defeating Elzbieta Witek from PiS. Five deputy speakers were also elected but Witek, the Sejm speaker of the former term of office, was rejected.
On the same day, as the newly elected Polish Senate gathered for its first meeting, Malgorzata Kidawa-Blonska from KO won 66 out of 99 votes, defeating Marek Pek from PiS. Pek also lost the vote for deputy speaker.
In an interview with the weekly Sieci, whose excerpt was published on Sunday, Duda said that the lack of representatives of the winning party in the presidiums of the Sejm and Senate proves “discrepancies between the declarations made in public space and practice.”
“On the one hand, we hear beautiful-sounding slogans about democracy, on the other hand, a specific act of retaliation is being carried out,” he argued.
“A situation in which the largest parliamentary club … does not have its representatives in the authorities of the Sejm and Senate has nothing to do with the principles of democracy,” Duda said.