Ladies and Gentlemen!
Committee for the Defence of Democracy (KOD) prepared a civic legislative initiative – a Constitutional Tribunal bill. Over a hundred thousand people signed the initiative; thousands were involved in gathering signatures. Many engaged in explaining its benefits and why it is worth supporting. We believed that it could be a solution to break the constitutional impasse, that discussing concrete solutions will result in compromise and consensus.
This whole venture started on 23 December, when we announced our project. The initiative was finally registered by the Sejm Marshal on 4 February. We submitted the required number of signatures, and we waited. According to the law, we could have been waiting until July, but all of a sudden, we had a call from the Sejm Office (Chancellery). It turned out that we were expected to present our bill proposal at the plenary session on Thursday afternoon. Without preliminary consultations, discussions or sufficient notice to properly prepare, we had no choice but to go ahead and to do it well. We have to respect all those who signed the bill proposal, those who made a great effort in collecting signatures, who organised and supported us along the way.
We also have to be conscious of how we have been implicated in this game by the ruling party. It is hard to discuss changes to the law, when the existing law is being broken. For who can guarantee us that the new law will be observed? The whole world is looking to the President of the Republic of Poland to accept an oath of office from the three legally elected judges of the Constitutional Tribunal. The whole world expects the Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Poland to publish the verdict of 9 March and the subsequent rulings of the Tribunal. Everyone: Polish citizens, the members of legal establishment in Poland, the representatives of the European institutions, European and US politicians – all expect the Polish government to act according to the provisions and governing regulations in the Constitution.
Meanwhile, the parliamentary majority had suddenly decided to demonstrate that they listen to the citizens and talk to the opposition. They don’t listen and talk though. They pretend to. They cheat. They are looking for a fig leaf to cover up their schemings. They want to convince European Committee that they are looking for a resolution through dialogue but there is no dialogue.
Withdrawal of the KOD’s bill would be a sign of a disrespect to the citizen because we wouldn’t be able to submit this bill again without the collecting all the signatures from scratch. However, starting a debate at this point, without fulfilling basic conditions – swearing in the judges and publishing the verdict – is fraudulent. It results in pretend debate and pretend compromise. We are counting on the opposition parties in the Parliament to support us in engaging in an honest debate and help us to expose the schemings of the ruling party. We thank you for standing by the rule that there can be no compromise until the existing law is being observed.
And what is left for the citizens? To shout out loud that the democracy is being destroyed, and that the citizens are being used as a fig leaf to the revolting, appalling manipulation and violation of the Constitution. The ruling party will do as it wishes because it holds the arithmetic majority in the Parliament, and it doesn’t hear anyone else. And what will the citizens get? Zilch.