Constitutional Court Judges Elected

Poland, 06 Nov - 03 Dec 2015
Changes in Parliament ++ Terror in Paris tightened Polish debate ++ Scandal to a play. by Lukas Plewnia
Alternation in the parliament

The Polish Parliament elected five Constitutional Court judges. Because the terms of office of the judges’ predecessors ended in December, these positions had to be filled. This had actually been done in the previous legislature. However, in the last parliamentary elections the conservative party Law and Justice (PiS) did not approve of the appointed judges. At first, the party had sued the other law, but now her majority in the parliament adopted a law which allows the re-election of judges.

With votes from PiS and the right-wing Kukiz'15 movement the law was adopted. The Civic Platform (PO), Nowoczesna and the Polish Peasant Party (PSL) had already left the Chamber in protest before. That same night, the law went to the Senate. On early Friday morning, it was accepted there and shortly after that also signed by President Andrzej Duda. The rush had a reason: The law comes into power 14 days after publication in the Journal of Laws.

Terror in Paris tightened Polish debate

Poland is moving to the right: While society has a tendency to conservative political views, the Paris terror attacks have fuelled right-wing sentiments, While citizens and politicians showed their sympathy in front of the French Embassy in Warsaw, approval ratings for accommodate migrants is low.

Many fear that taking in refugees would ensue a terrorist threat. Representatives of the new PiS government emphasize constantly guaranteeing the safety of the Polish population is a priority. France naturalized many Muslims. Many see France as an example that integration Muslims and creating a multi-cultural society was not possible. Others fear that male immigrants could be a threat to women, Furthermore, some believe that immigrants should stay in their home country and fight for a better future. That is why many believe refugees to be cowards.

Some claim that Poland does have the financial capacity to accommodate refugees, because refugees would come for economic reasons and not to escape death and destruction.

Play causes scandal

The theatre play "Death and the Maiden", performed in Breslau, received a lot of attention. Because the play included pornographic scenes and sexual acts on stage, actors are said to have refused to play the piece, which is why porn actors were hired.

Therefore, Culture Minister Piotr Glinski sent a letter to the responsible department in the region (Lower Silesian Voivodeship). He appealed to stop the preparations for the play, in turn the minister has been accused of censorship.

At the end of the premier of piece it was clear that sex scenes did not happen, but Culture Minister Glinski was asked on TV whether Article 73 of the Polish Constitution (freedom of art) still applies. This led to a sharp exchange of words with the moderator Karolina Lewicka. Glinski accused the presenter and the transmitter for propaganda. He even threatened to quit the interviews because "TV does not work right." Lewicka again stressed that this it was a press conference, but that the minister had to answer the questions.

PO-2015_Constitutional Court
Source: Lukas Plewnia | CC BY-SA 2.0

Polish Constitutional Court (Trybunał Konstytucyjny)

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