Borys Budka, a former leader of the Civic Coalition has admitted that he can envisage banning the largest opposition Conervatives (PiS) EPA-EFE/PAWEL SUPERNAK


Polish PM Tusk allegedly mulling ban on political opposition


Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk is reportedly considering a possible ban on his political opponents, a senior figure within his party has claimed.

A former leader of the Civic Coalition (KO), the party currently led by Tusk, has said the party is open to taking action aimed at banning the former ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, arguing the group and its leaders were engaged in treason.

Borys Budka, who led the KO between 2019 and 2021, appeared on state TVP Info on May 22 and was asked if the party saw any circumstances in which it might proscribe PiS.

“I can certainly envisage such a move because PIS is a political party which is based on the worst possible authoritarian traits and which, for the last eight years by attempting to hold onto power at all costs, endangered Poland’s national interest,” the candidate for June’s European Parliament elections replied.

Budka alleged some senior PiS members were guilty of betraying the Polish State and that the Russian influence commission, which is to be appointed in a matter of days on Tusk’s orders, “will provide material for indictments”.

“In my opinion the actions of some individuals should be prosecuted because they were tantamount to treason,” he said.

Budka claimed that “[Former PiS PM] Morawiecki went to Spain to stand shoulder to shoulder with the most pro-Putin and anti-European parties”.

“Either willingly or through foolishness an experienced politician like Jarosław Kaczyński [leader and founder of the PiS] was naive enough to participate in a script written by the Kremlin,” he claimed.

When Budka was asked if the Russian influence commission would specifically target the PiS and its politicians, he responded that if people have been honest and have a clear conscience they have nothing to fear.

“It will above all else demonstrate the truth about what has been going on in Poland in the last eight years and the participation of Russian influence in the dismantling of the Polish State,” he said on the TV programme.

His words seemed at odds with what Tusk had previously stated. The PM told reporters on May 21 that the commission would cover the events of the last 20 years and would not focus on any particular political party.

Budka is the first senior government politician to suggest that such a ban could be seriously considered. Up until now, those who have suggested banning PiS have been treated as radicals, with many fearing that such a move would lead to social unrest.

Jacek Karnowski, the chief editor of portal wPolityce told Brussels Signal that the former minister’s statements could indicate not only a shift in attitude, but the method KO could employ to justify a prohibition.

“While the calls for the banning of PiS are nothing new on the part of the radicals who support Tusk, what must be a matter of concern with regard to Budka’s remarks is that it seems to indicate that the Russian influence commission is a vehicle for potentially making a move for such a ban,” he said.

According to Polish law, a political party may be banned and dissolved by the Supreme Court if it can be proved that it tried to overthrow the Constitution or promoted the application of a totalitarian ideology such as fascism or communism.

If a motion submitted to the Supreme Court is successful, a political party may be dissolved, its property confiscated, State funding for it withdrawn, and its right to field candidates in elections terminated.