Former Pol­ish pres­i­dents urge EU to de­fend rule of law

Iran Daily - - International -

Three former Pol­ish pres­i­dents, in­clud­ing anti-com­mu­nist icon Lech Walesa, on Wed­nes­day urged the EU to de­fend the rule of law in their coun­try, which they say is un­der threat from the cur­rent right-wing gov­ern­ment.

Point­ing to a re­form of the Supreme Court that takes ef­fect on July 3rd, the lead­ers ac­cused the Law and Jus­tice (PIS) gov­ern­ment of “dis­man­tling the tri­par­tite di­vi­sion of pow­ers in Poland, ex­plic­itly vi­o­lat­ing the Pol­ish Con­sti­tu­tion,” AFP re­ported.

“The Euro­pean Union is the last ad­min­is­tra­tive level that can de­fend the law and order in Poland,” the former pres­i­dents, who in­clude left­ist Alek­sander Kwas­niewski and lib­eral Bro­nis­law Ko­morowski, said in a state­ment pub­lished in the lib­eral daily Gazeta Wy­bor­cza.

Four former Pol­ish prime min­is­ters, four ex-for­eign min­is­ters and sev­eral former anti-com­mu­nist dis­si­dents also added their names to the state­ment.

The sig­na­to­ries ap­pealed “to the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion and the Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union to re­main com­mit­ted to the fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ples” con­tained in the EU treaty that guar­an­tee the rule of law.

In De­cem­ber, Brus­sels trig­gered an un­prece­dented pro­ce­dure that could lead to Warsaw los­ing its EU vot­ing rights if it presses ahead with re­forms deemed to pose a “sys­temic threat” to the rule of law.

EU for­eign min­is­ters are due to dis­cuss the is­sue again on June 26 just ahead of a sum­mit of EU lead­ers.

The PIS gov­ern­ment rejects claims that its re­forms dis­man­tle the sep­a­ra­tion of pow­ers en­shrined in EU treaties, in­sist­ing in­stead that the changes are nec­es­sary to re­move the last ves­tiges of com­mu­nism from Poland’s jus­tice sys­tem.

JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP Three former Pol­ish heads of state – Lech Walesa, Alek­sander Kwas­niewski and Bro­nis­law Ko­morowski – urged the EU to de­fend the rule of law in their coun­try.

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