- Poland’s Ruling Camp Passes Anti-U.S. Media Bill, Violating Parliamentary Procedure. | Agnieszka Pomaska
Poland’s Ruling Camp Passes Anti-U.S. Media Bill, Violating Parliamentary Procedure. 16.08.2021, written by Łukasz Bejm
On Wednesday, Poland’s ruling camp narrowly passed a contentious media bill targeting the American-owned network TVN. The legislation has been pushed through in violation of parliamentary procedure.
The Wednesday parliamentary session was particularly heated and chaotic. Leading up to the vote, the right-wing government supported by members of Kukiz’15 and two independent parliamentarians Zbigniew Ajchler and Łukasz Mejza rejected amendments to the bill proposed by the opposition. Before that, after a nearly two-hour-long break and intensive lobbying of Kukiz’15 MPs, the ruling camp forcefully rescinded the opposition’s motion to postpone the debate until September.
Opposition MPs Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz (Civic Coalition) and Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz (Polish People’s Party) filed a motion to adjourn the meeting until early September. And in a surprising twist of events, the opposition won the vote 229 to 227. The outcome was met with a standing ovation.
With two Law and Justice MPs absent and four members of the Kukiz’15 group being initially in favor of postponing the session, the opposition managed to pass the motion. However, arguing that the result „raises justified doubts”, the Speaker of the Sejm, Elżbieta Witek, decided to repeat the vote.
– You are breaking the law. All decisions made after passing the motion to postpone the session are illegal- emphasized Borys Budka, the head of the Civic Coalition parliamentary club. – You need to respect the procedural rules.
The controversial bill was passed by Poland,s lower house of parliament on a vote of 228 to 216.