The president of Poland, Andrzej Duda, rejected this Monday the dismissal of the country’s national prosecutor until now, Dariusz Barskia controversial decision that hinders the attempts of the new prime minister, Donald Tusk, to carry out a reform of the Judiciary.
Barski, who was the highest-ranking prosecutor behind Poland’s attorney general, Adam Bodnar He had been dismissed on Friday after the Ministry of Justice presented a law to reform the mechanism for electing Polish judges, a first step towards restoring judicial independence in the face of the numerous criticisms leveled against Poland at the international level.
However, Duda has not approved the dismissal of the prosecutor, who was appointed by Tusk’s predecessor, Mateusz Morawiecki, also from the Law and Justice party (PiS). Thus, he has defended that Barski “is still in office,” according to a statement released through his social networks.
Thus, he stressed that “all actions taken by the Ministry of Justice are illegal” before meeting with Tusk, whom he asked to “restore” the situation “in accordance with the law.” “We have talked about very important matters for Poland,” he stated before clarifying that “the decision” to dismiss the prosecutor was not consulted with him.
“No legal procedure has been carried out in this regard, I want to emphasize this. There has been no consultation of any kind,” he stated, according to information collected by the newspaper ‘Rzeczpospolita’.
In this sense, he has clarified that Polish legislation establishes that the dismissal of the national prosecutor can only be carried out after the prime minister consults his departure with the president of the country, although he has warned that this consultation “has not taken place.”
That is why he has stated that the letter sent by Bodnar “has no legal value.” “If that is so, any official could send a similar letter to the attorney general,” he said before emphasizing that “there is no doubt that a violation of the law has occurred.”
This represents a worsening of internal tension in relation to the rule of law in Poland, where the pro-European Tusk Government seeks to dismantle the eight years of nationalist PiS Government.
In the midst of the institutional crisis, Tusk announced this Monday that local and regional elections will be held on April 7 and 21.
Speaking ahead of a meeting of ministers in Warsaw, the prime minister confirmed that he has sent the calendar to the Electoral Commission, and expressed confidence that “April will be a good month for the self-government of the Poles“, in reference to a pact promoted by him in 2022 to enhance the autonomy of local governments.
The local and regional elections were scheduled for 2023, but were postponed by decision of the previous conservative government which, with the support of the Polish president, adopted that decision when the electoral polls were adverse.
In November 2022, when the change in the electoral calendar was certified, the opposition criticized the Government and the president for what they described as an attempt to buy time and try to mitigate the negative effect of the bad result that they feared they would obtain in the general elections of the October 15, 2023.
In those elections, the conservative government was defeated by the absolute majority obtained by the center-liberal coalition led by Tusk, an alliance whose partners hold power in most of the regions and large municipalities of the country.
A platform of mayors from all over Poland that brings together the country’s 15 main cities signed a commitment in 2022 to request the decentralization of power in areas such as Education, Environment or Health, in contrast to the policy exercised by the previous Government, which It granted the State most of the powers.
The leaders of the parties that make up the ruling coalition, and whose ideology ranges from the moderate left to the Christian Democrats, have not clarified whether they will participate jointly in the local and regional elections, as they did in the general elections.
However, some of them have already expressed his preference to present himself independently