Polish government survives second confidence vote
July 11, 2014
Poland's lower house of the parliament Friday turned down motion for a no-confidence vote for the Donald Tusk government, submitted by main opposition party Law and Justice (PiS), which put forward the candidacy of professor Piotr Glinski as Prime Minister.
The motion was backed by 155 MPs, while 236 MPs voted against and 60 abstained
The motion attracted support by PiS, Solidary Poland and several independents, while coalition partners Civic Platform (PO) and Polish People’s Party (PSL) as well as four independents voted against. Leftist groupings Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) and Your Movement abstained.
Interior Minister Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz also survived a separate confidence vote called by PiS. This motion attracted 213 votes in favor, 235 votes against and 1 abstention.
The PiS motions follow Poland's illegal recordings scandal which has dominated the country's political discourse recently. Illegal recordings, obtained and published by Wprost weekly magazine, include conversations between Poland's top government & non-government officials and businesspeople.
In the most controversial such recording, Sienkiewicz and central bank chief Marek Belka are heard discussing possibilities for central bank help in financing the budget should the economy fail to accelerate sufficiently to ensure governing party victory in the next elections.
PM Tusk had already secured a vote of confidence he called himself on June 25.
Positive outcome of Friday confidence vote for Minister Sienkiewicz, however, was less obvious. PSL reportedly voted against the motion in return for assurances that the minister will resign in not-too-far future, Polish media wrote. PSL leadership made some arm-twisting to convince 2-3 MPs that wanted to support minister's dismissal to vote in line with the coalition partner PO, Polska the Times reported.
Also PSL's former leader Waldemar Pawlak called for postponement of voting on Sienkiewicz’s dismissal until the general prosecutor and PM Donald Tusk clarify why Poland's anti-corruption office CBA had searched the MP office of Jan Bury, head of PSL parliamentary caucus.
CBA raided the office, home and hotel room of Bury in search of documents and data storage devices in connection with a suspected corruption scandal, according to the information of the daily Rzeczpospolita. The prosecution which ordered the CBA raid would not offer a comment other than that the search was related to the inquiry under which also deputy Infrastructure Minister, PO's Zbigniew Rynasiewicz's office and apartments were searched last Friday.