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Polish government unveils fourth referendum query on border barrier removal

14.08.2023 10:00
"Do you support the removal of the barrier on the Polish border with Belarus?" This will be the fourth query slated for the forthcoming national referendum, as revealed on Monday by the Polish government.
Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak.
Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak.Photo: PAP/Maciej Kulczyński

This query is part of a series of proposed questions authored by the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, aimed at gauging public sentiment on critical issues.

In a move unveiled on Friday, the PiS party, led by President Jarosław Kaczyński, launched an initiative to present additional referendum questions in anticipation of the upcoming parliamentary elections scheduled for October 15.

The initial question, articulated by Kaczyński, will inquire, "Do you support the privatization of state-owned enterprises?" The second query, as outlined by PiS Vice-President and former Prime Minister Beata Szydło, will ask whether citizens favor an increase in the current retirement age of 60 for women and 65 for men.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, on Sunday, introduced the third question: "Do you endorse the acceptance of a substantial number of undocumented immigrants from the Middle East and Africa, in accordance with the mandated relocation mechanism set forth by European administrative bodies?"

The fourth referendum question, unveiled on Monday morning by the Minister of National Defence, Mariusz Błaszczak, pertains to the potential removal of the barrier on the border between Poland and Belarus. The question reads: "Do you support the removal of the barrier on the border between the Republic of Poland and the Republic of Belarus?"

In a statement, Minister Błaszczak emphasized the importance of citizen participation in crucial matters, particularly those relating to national security. "The voice of ordinary Poles is always decisive for us. Matters of paramount importance, especially those impacting our security, should be entrusted to the citizens. We are resolutely bolstering the Polish Armed Forces and constructing a barrier on the Belarus-Russia border to safeguard our security."

Błaszczak also referenced past decisions made by political opponents, stating, "Donald Tusk and his associates dismantled military units in eastern Poland, subsequently criticizing our efforts to erect a border barrier with Belarus, only to now advocate for its eradication."

The statement alluded to remarks made by opposition politicians from the Civic Coalition (KO) – Tomasz Siemoniak, Donald Tusk, and Janina Ochojska.

"We shall not permit Poland to stand defenseless against escalating aggression from Putin," Minister Błaszczak affirmed, underscoring the significance of the public's role in determining the steadfastness of Poland's border defense and safety.

A two-day session of the Sejm, Poland's lower house of parliament, is scheduled for August 16 and 17. During this session, the assembly will deliberate on a motion to call for a nationwide referendum.

In June, Deputy Prime Minister Kaczyński emphasized the necessity of subjecting the matter of EU migrant relocation to a referendum. Prime Minister Morawiecki reaffirmed the intention to conduct the referendum concurrently with the autumn parliamentary elections.


Source: PAP