Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk survives confidence vote

Polish PM survives confidence vote
Brussels, June 26: Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk on Wednesday survived a parliamentary vote of confidence following a leaked tapes scandal, the media reported.

Tusk's two-party governing coalition won backing from 237 MPs, with 203 against. The required majority was 231 votes, Xinhua reported citing the local media.

Secret recordings of senior officials published by news magazine Wprost have plunged Poland into a political storm, which prompted Tusk calling the vote earlier in the day.

Earlier Tusk told MPs that Poland's interests could be jeopardised by the leaked tapes scandal, in which several government ministers' private, and sometimes compromising, conversations were illegally recorded and the tapes released to the Polish weekly.

"I have a simple plan that will largely depend on the house. We need certainty beyond Poland's borders that the Polish state is running smoothly and coping well also with this unusual, serious crisis; that on the eve of negotiations in Brussels, the Polish government has a mandate stemming from the elections and from a parliamentary majority," Tusk told MPs.

The prime minister pointed out that one effect of the leaked tapes scandal was the Polish government's diminished ability to influence how top European Union positions are filled. He added that the government would fight at the EU summit for specific regulations concerning an energy union.

"There can be no room for guesswork (as to whether) there is a government in Poland or whether it will fall at any minute," he said regarding the vote of confidence.

The prime minister began his Sejm presentation of the leaked tapes scandal with an apology for "appalling, sometimes scandalous behaviour, language, inappropriate words" in the illegally recorded conversations of high officials, including ministers.

In the middle of June Wprost published illegal recordings of private conversations between Interior Minister Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz, and the President of the National Bank of Poland Marek Belka as well as between Andrzej Parafianowicz, former finance ministry official, and former minister of transport Slawomir Nowak.

On Monday a recorded conversation between Minister of Foreign Affairs Radoslaw Sikorski and former finance minister Jacek Rostowski, and another one between government Spokesperson Pawel Gras, Treasury Minister Wlodzimierz Karpinski, Deputy Treasury Minister Zdzislaw Gawlik and PKN Orlen President Jacek Krawiec were published by Wprost.


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