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Polish lower-house Speaker advocates for referendum on abortion

07.12.2023 13:15
Poland should have a referendum on abortion, Szymon Hołownia, the country’s new lower-house Speaker and leader of the centrist Poland 2050 party, has said, emphasizing the need for conversation, patience, and kindness in parliamentary discourse.
Szymon Hołownia.
Szymon Hołownia. Photo: PAP/Tomasz Gzell

In a recent interview with the “Rzeczpospolita” daily, Hołownia, who is known for his moderate stance, expressed a desire to move away from the heightened emotional and often contentious tone that has characterized the Sejm's proceedings over the past eight years. Alongside the deputy speakers, he plans to encourage more toned-down debates, believing that differing opinions should be expressed without hostility.

In response to questions about his plans for the next two years and potential changes to Sejm regulations, Hołownia highlighted his initiative to change the style of proceedings. This includes a “more open Sejm, with removed barriers, plans for a citizens' assembly, increased public hearings, and greater access for journalists.”

Regarding the transformation of public media, Hołownia indicated that swift and clear actions are underway, focusing on systemic solutions rather than partisan takeovers.

On the contentious issue of abortion, Hołownia confirmed that the Sejm would have to address it, acknowledging two draft bills already submitted by the Left. He reaffirmed his group’s position that a referendum should be held.

Hołownia envisions the referendum question being decided through a citizens' assembly, a process he hopes to initiate next year. "We should decide it together, in the citizens' assembly," he said, signaling a move towards more participatory and inclusive policymaking.

On civil partnerships, Hołownia expressed his support and willingness to advance related legislation. "If I see it, I will of course put it into motion. It will probably not be a government project either," he stated, affirming, "However, I will be happy to vote for such a project if it finds its way to the Sejm."


Source: PAP