We use cookies to make sure our website better meets your expectations.
You can adjust your web browser's settings to stop accepting cookies. For further information, read our cookie policy.
SEARCH
IN Warsaw
Exchange Rates
Warsaw Stock Exchange - Indices
The Warsaw Voice » Politics » April 29, 2009
POLITICS
You have to be logged in to use the ReadSpeaker utility and listen to a text. It's free-of-charge. Just log in to the site or register if you are not registered user yet.
PiS Ordered to Scrap Anti-PO Ad
April 29, 2009 By W.Ż.    
Article's tools:
Print

A Warsaw court April 23 ordered the opposition Law and Justice (PiS) party to stop airing a controversial commercial in the run-up to Poland’s European Parliament elections June 7 that accused the senior governing coalition party, the Civic Platform (PO), of cronyism.

The court ordered PiS to apologize to PO on Poland’s major television channels for undermining its good name and misleading voters. PiS was also forced to place a similar apology on its website.

The court passed its verdict in response to a lawsuit filed by PO April 22. The ruling was issued under a special court procedure that applies to issues regulated by election law.

Under European Parliament election law, if election materials such as posters, leaflets, slogans, remarks or other forms of canvassing during an election campaign contain false information, a party or a person running for MEP has the right to go to court and seek an order requiring that the information should be corrected. The court has 24 hours to examine the case.

The PiS’s attorney in court argued that the commercial in question was not an election commercial as defined in the election law. PO, in turn, argued that any form of political advertising during an election campaign is election-related. The court agreed.

PO politicians voiced outrage at the commercial. The commercial alleges that the ruling party takes care only of its own people and their families instead of helping bankrupt industrial plants, for instance. The commercial refers to PO’s election slogan “For a better life for all”—but the word “all” is replaced here with a red rectangle with the word “cronies,” while the PO logo is altered to show a tongue with the allusion of it being “stuck out at gullible voters.”

In its lawsuit, PO complained that the commercial alleged that the government was closing down shipyards and had secured big money for a company owned by PO senator Tomasz Misiak.

Misiak’s company had won a contract under a law he had worked on as a senator. When the scandal was exposed, Misiak quit as a PO member and was removed from the Senate economic committee.

Elżbieta Kosińska-Kozak, who represented PO in court, argued that the government had played no part in awarding the contract to Misiak’s company.

“It is clear to the court that it is not the government that is closing down the shipyards. It is not PO’s whim, but a move to comply with the European Commission’s decision,” the court said when substantiating its ruling. The European Commission ruled last year that state aid granted to Polish shipyards was illegal and should be repaid, a decision that effectively made the shipyards bankrupt.

Kosińska-Kozak also objected to other parts of the controversial commercial, which alleges that Warsaw mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz of the PO has paid out zl.58 million in bonuses to her workers, while a company owned by the wife of Treasury Minister Aleksander Grad has been awarded lucrative tenders by the government.

Kosińska-Kozak said that only zl.13 million was paid out to the Warsaw City Hall workers by the end of the first quarter and that Grad’s wife did not have any stake in the MGGP company which, according to media reports, had won a number of contracts from government agencies and Treasury-owned companies.
© The Warsaw Voice 2010-2018
E-mail Marketing Powered by SARE