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    PiS MP: Even media outlets sympathetic to Tusk consider the assault on the media unlawful

    In a recent session of the Sejm, Maria Koc, a Member of Parliament from the Law and Justice Party (PiS), accused the government of engaging in a forceful takeover of media, which she deemed completely unlawful and unconstitutional. Koc pointed out that even media outlets that had traditionally supported the ruling party were now highly critical of their actions. She referenced an interview with Professor Ryszard Piotrowski, a prominent constitutionalist, conducted by Onet, where he expressed strong reservations about the government’s actions.

    The controversy revolves around former Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s implementation of a plan to forcefully take control of public media, ignoring Polish law altogether. The newly appointed Minister of Culture, Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz, began executing the plan based on a resolution, employing methods that were described as unprecedented in the civilized world and reminiscent of the communist era.

    During her speech in the Sejm, Maria Koc reiterated her criticism, stating, “You are carrying out a forceful takeover of the media, which is entirely unlawful and inconsistent with the constitution. Even those media outlets that have always favored and continue to favor you are very critical of what you are doing. Read the interview with Professor Ryszard Piotrowski, an eminent constitutionalist, who spoke to Onet, and see how critically he views your actions.”

    The underlying issue gained attention after an interview with Professor Ryszard Piotrowski was published on Business Insider, which is part of the Ringier Axel Springer group, similar to Onet. In the interview, Piotrowski strongly criticized the Tusk government’s actions regarding the unlawful takeover of public media. He emphasized that the minister’s actions lacked sufficient legal basis and highlighted the need to first implement the Constitutional Tribunal’s 2016 ruling. The Tribunal had deemed unconstitutional the exclusion of the National Broadcasting Council from the appointment and dismissal of authorities in public media.

    Piotrowski stated, “The coalition can only act within the limits set by the constitution. It is necessary to consider the president’s stance, as he clearly wrote in a letter to Marshal Szymon Hołownia that the law must be respected. Respecting the law means what I mentioned earlier. The current constitution sets the boundaries for the exercise of power, and laws are not written at election rallies. The law must be changed, and it must be done in a decent and convincing manner to gain the president’s support.

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