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Financial Times: Tusk's bold moves necessary to counter PiS, risk deepening Poland’s divide

17.01.2024 12:15
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk must navigate a challenging path to restore the rule of law in Poland, a task complicated by the need to avoid deepening divisions in an already polarized society, according to an opinion piece in the Financial Times.
Donald Tusk.
Donald Tusk. Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymański

The newspaper’s Wednesday editorial commentary underscores Tusk's predicament in dismantling the "illiberal" system established by the Law and Justice (PiS) party over eight years. It notes the critical importance of Tusk's administration employing unconventional yet necessary tactics to undo PiS's grip on key institutions, while remaining within the spirit of the law.

Since taking office, Tusk's coalition has taken decisive actions, including putting three state media companies into liquidation, dismissing a PiS-appointed national prosecutor, attempting investigations into a central bank governor, and arresting two PiS parliamentarians. These moves have sparked major controversy, with President Andrzej Duda accusing Tusk of violating the rule of law, a charge the Financial Times deems as unfounded.

The editorial points out that the Tusk administration, learning from past mistakes, is acting swiftly to reverse PiS's deep-rooted changes, especially in state media, the prosecutor's office, and the judiciary, but emphasizes the need for the new government to act “responsibly” and refrain from replacing PiS appointees with its own “loyalists”.

The Financial Times warns that Tusk's government should be selective in its battles, highlighting the risk of potential clashes with EU authorities over certain actions, especially challenging the central bank governor. The commentary concludes by stressing the importance of restoring the independence of courts and state television, which are “crucial” steps in bridging Poland's societal divide, without replicating the actions of the previous government.

Source: PAP, Financial Times