Tusk warns of ‘other ways’ to pursue Polish central bank chief

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Poland’s prime minister Donald Tusk warned on Friday that his ruling coalition could find “other ways to pursue” the governor of the central bank, a day after the constitutional court ruled that lawmakers could not make him stand trial.

Tusk is maintaining the pressure on the president of the National Bank of Poland, Adam Glapiński, and deepening a feud that started last year during Tusk’s election campaign, when he accused Glapiński of turning monetary policy into a political tool of the government, at the time led by the rightwing Law and Justice (PiS) party.

Glapiński is a personal friend of PiS leader Jarosław Kaczyński, and the PiS-appointed governor was elected in 2022 to a second term of six years. The constitutional court, itself dominated by PiS-nominated judges, barred Poland’s parliament, in which Tusk’s coalition has a majority, from bringing Glapiński before a state tribunal that judges the eligibility of state officials. 

Asked about the court’s verdict, Tusk said in a joint interview with Poland’s three main broadcasters that “there are other ways to pursue legal accountability”. He added: “I don’t want the impression that it’s about hunting Adam Glapiński.” 

During the campaign, Tusk called Glapiński “incompetent and indecent”. Tensions mounted further after the central bank cut interest rates more than expected only weeks before October’s election, which Tusk’s camp denounced as a politically motived decision.

Tusk will meet President Andrzej Duda on Monday amid a deepening rift that could derail the prime minister’s reform plans, because Tusk must work alongside Duda until the next presidential election in 2025.

Duda, who was also a PiS nominee, sided with the party to delay Tusk’s coming into office and then used his veto powers to block a budget bill last month. This week Duda again confronted the ruling coalition by demanding the release of two convicted PiS lawmakers, arguing their arrests had been unconstitutional because they were protected by a 2015 presidential pardon.

Asked on Friday about Duda’s plans to grant the pair a fresh pardon, Tusk said that he could not stop Duda from using his powers, but that the feud over the MPs had created “a difficult experience for all of us”.

Duda was speaking hours after Tusk’s justice minister presented a judicial reform of the body that appoints judges, which will need Duda’s approval to come into force.

“For eight years PiS has devastated the independence of the courts and the prosecutor’s office, ruined the rule of law in Poland, with the participation of the president,” Tusk said. “I believe this is the moment we should all withdraw from tough positions to restore the rule of law.” 

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