July 25, 2021

Polish Court of Auditors files complaint against Mateusz Morawiecki and two of his ministers

It is a reminder of the law that the conservative national government of PiS (Law and Justice), used to neutralizing checks and balances, would have gone well. The Polish Court of Auditors (NIK), through its president, Marian Banas, lodged a complaint with the prosecution against the head of government, Mateusz Morawiecki, his chief of staff, Michal Dworczyk, as well as the ministers of the treasury and of inside. At issue: the decision, taken in April 2020, to organize the presidential election by correspondence, on May 10, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, while, in the unanimous opinion of jurists, the conditions did not lend themselves to it.

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According to the Court, the decisions taken then had no legal basis, and ignored the opinions of the legal departments of the Prime Minister’s Chancellery and the Ministry of the Treasury, which warned against their illegality. The Prime Minister had ordered the printing of the ballot papers, bypassing the prerogatives of the independent electoral commission, and entrusted the Polish Post – controlled by the Treasury Ministry – with the task of organizing the ballot. In theory, Mr. Morawiecki and his ministers face up to three years in prison for these offenses.

“Big misunderstanding”

This electoral episode had sparked the most lively controversies in the spring of 2020: the peak of the first wave of the pandemic made it impossible to hold a fair electoral campaign. Opposition candidates found themselves unable to organize electoral rallies or even travel across the country, while outgoing president Andrzej Duda, the majority candidate, enjoyed this prerogative as head of state , in addition to having unlimited access to public media.

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It was also difficult to imagine the organization of a proper ballot given the sanitary conditions. Most of the legal and institutional opinions thus pleaded for a postponement of the ballot until the fall. But the strong man of the country, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, considered that the postpandemic economic impact could compromise the chances of re-election of his candidate, and had made of the date of May 10 a deadline to be held “at all costs. He later had to back down, encountering opposition from the moderate fringe of his majority.

“Let it be clear: it was my personal decision to organize this election, on the Bavarian or Canadian model, Mr. Kaczynski defended himself at the Court’s announcement, when at the time he held no government office. To speak here of a breach of the law or of abuse is a big misunderstanding. “ Mr. Morawiecki for his part considered that the government behaved in a manner “Adequate”. “If we hadn’t tried to secure the election, we could have been accused by the same people who are accusing us today. »

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