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Poland to vote in privatisation referendum, likely alongside October election

Published 08/11/2023, 03:28 AM
Updated 08/11/2023, 03:31 AM
© Reuters. Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister and ruling party Law and Justice (Prawo i Sprawiedliwosc) leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski speaks during a press conference, a week before the National Army Day Parade, at Wesola military base in Warsaw, Poland, August 8, 2023. R

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poles will vote on whether they support the privatisation of state companies, Poland's ruling party leader said on Friday, as he announced the first question in a number of referendums likely to be held on the same day as parliamentary elections.

Ruling nationalists Law and Justice (PiS) had initially said they would hold a referendum on a European Union migration deal, in what some analysts viewed as a bid to mobilise their core electorate ahead of an Oct. 15 election seen by many as the most important since the fall of communism in 1989.

"For us, the voice of ordinary Poles is always decisive," PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski said in a video posted on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter. "The voice of foreign politicians, including German ones, is of no importance."

He said that the first referendum question would be: "Do you support the sale of state-owned enterprises?".

PiS say that the main opposition party, the liberal Civic Platform (PO) which is led by Former European Council President Donald Tusk, is subservient to foreign interests, particularly those of Germany.

"The Germans want to embed Tusk in Poland to sell off common property, his background shows it directly," Kaczynski said.

PO rejects such criticism, and accuses the government of awarding well-paid roles in state-owned firms to people as a way of rewarding them for their support.

"If PiS wants to ask about state-owned companies in a referendum, then Kaczynski should ask Poles whether they support the nepotism, cronyism and theft that is now taking place," PO lawmaker Marcin Kierwinski told state-run broadcaster Polskie Radio 1.

© Reuters. Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister and ruling party Law and Justice (Prawo i Sprawiedliwosc) leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski speaks during a press conference, a week before the National Army Day Parade, at Wesola military base in Warsaw, Poland, August 8, 2023. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/File Photo

Another state-run broadcaster, Polskie Radio 24, reported that there would be four referendum questions in total.

Poland's lower house of parliament will deal with legislation concerning the organisation of the referendums at its sitting on Aug. 16-17.

 

 

 

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