Episode 43

Election Date Revealed & more – 15th Aug 2023

Parliamentary election date, political alliances, the ruling’s party referendum on election day, appointment of new health minister after scandal, election campaigns, and much more!

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Witam from Keswick Village! This is the Rorshok Poland Update from the 15th of August twenty twenty-three A quick summary of what's going down in Poland.

Let’s roll the dice with current affairs in the domestic sphere.

On Wednesday, the 9th, President Andrzej Duda finally announced the date for the parliamentary elections; they will be conducted on the 15th of October. Poland will vote for a Prime Minister on the same day. Poles will vote for 460 MPs and 100 senators. Parties have to take at least five percent of all votes to enter parliament, while the threshold is eight percent for political alliances.

On the same day, just after the announcement of the election date, political parties geared up their election campaigns. Morawiecki said the ruling party’s vision of the country is based on Poland’s solidarity. On the other hand, Donald Tusk, the leader of the main opposition party, stated that voters would choose whether they "want to be free or be put in a muzzle".

Two months before the elections, political alliances started to form. Reporters expect Law and Justice, the ruling party, and Civic Platform, the main opposition party, to compete in the elections without creating alliances. Other parties have decided to form alliances, such as The Third Way alliance, which includes Poland twenty-fifty and the Polish People’s Party. In addition, the Left, and Left Together parties will participate in elections together under The New Left alliance.

On Friday, the 11th, the ruling party announced it wants to hold a referendum with four questions on the 15th of October, the day of the parliamentary elections. Previously, the ruling party was going to hold a referendum on the migration issue, but with the last update, they will add three more topics. The first question will be whether Poles support the sale of state-owned companies, and the second is whether they are in favor of raising the retirement age. The last one is about Poland's potential removal of the barrier—a free passage— between the Polish border and Belarus. Reporters stated that the referendum debate is a part of the ruling party’s election campaign since the questions are politically motivated and target the opposition.The referendum still has to pass through the Parliament, which can add amendments until the 17th or the 18th of August.

About the debate, Bronisław Komorowski, the former president, said he would boycott the referendum. The Left Party said it would not participate as well. Reporters expect other opposition parties to announce they will boycott the referendum in the next few days. Moreover, some Poles online criticized the ruling party and questioned why the referendum does not ask Poles if they want free abortion on demand in the country when that is clearly what a lot of Poles want.

When it comes to last week’s scandal with the Health Minister…

On Wednesday, the 9th, reporters stated that Adam Niedzielski, the health minister, resigned from his position after a scandal. The previous week, Niedzielski revealed personal information online about one of the doctors he was arguing with. This led to an outcry in the country and in the government. Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister, announced that he accepted Niedzielski’s resignation. The prime minister announced that Katarzyna Sójka, a doctor, will become the next health minister.

Security issues continue to occupy the country’s agenda.

On Thursday, the 10th, Poland deployed an extra 10,000 soldiers at the border with Belarus after a call from the Border Guard Agency. Last week, the Border Guard Agency urgently asked for additional troops to protect the Belarusian border amid the increasing attempts to cross into Polish soil from Belarus. four thousand soldiers will directly protect borders, while six thousand of them will be deployed if needed.

On the same day, the government announced that Germany would keep its Patriot air defense systems in Poland until the end of twenty twenty-three. Currently, Germany keeps its Patriots to protect Polish airspace and NATO’s Eastern Flank against a possible missile coming from the Russian-Ukrainian war. Mariusz Błaszczak, the defense minister of Poland, said that the country will use its own Patriots when Germany’s Patriot air defense system leaves the country.

Another incident took place that challenged national security.

On Monday, the 14th, Authorities detained two Russians who were trying to recruit Poles to Wagner's paid soldier group. Reporters stated that the two Russians had pasted Wagner’s stickers with QR codes on the walls of the capital city of Warsaw and Kraków. The QR directed people to Wagner Soldiers’ recruiting page. The Russians will now face a trial for acting for foreign intelligence against the Republic of Poland.

In our last report on foreign affairs…

On Wednesday, the 9th, Poland sent a rescue team to Slovenia after the country faced devastating floods. Slovenia asked for NATO help in the aftermath of the heavy floods, which affected eighty-five percent of the country's area. The Polish prime minister and defense minister expressed their friendship with Slovenia on X, formerly Twitter.

In unrelated news…

On Friday, the 11th, Authorities evacuated 14,000 residents of Lublin after a 550-pound bomb was found under the city. Construction workers found the unexploded World War II bomb while they were digging the earth. Police and the territorial army immediately evacuated residents to remove the bomb. After two hours, residents returned to their homes safely.

On Wednesday, the 9th, the country will send a Polish astronaut into space —the second Polish astronaut in history. The astronaut will travel to the International Space Station as part of a European Space Agency mission to "test Poland’s high technology" and conduct scientific experiments. Sławosz Uznański will be the second Polish astronaut after Mirosław Hermaszewski, who took part in an eight-day Soviet space mission in nineteen seventy-eight.

On Sunday, the 13th, Bydgoszcz was hosting a Bedoes concert for free and almost two thousand people attended. There were even more people gathered outside the concert area. Because of the squeezing and the heat, individuals started to get heatstrokes. Medical teams and firefighters intervened at the scene. Almost 140 people were affected. Authorities had to take some of those people to the hospital for further medical treatment.

Meanwhile, traffic accidents affected so many others...

On Tuesday, the 14th, authorities announced that this week’s accidents broke a record for this year. This week, traffic accidents took thirty lives and injured 267 others. For instance, in the town of Podłęcze, a seventy-nine-year-old man lost control of his bike and drove off the opposite line of the road. A bus ran over his body, and the man died at the scene. Also this week, firefighters were very busy. They intervened in three thousand eight hundred and forty-nine incidents in which eleven people were injured.

Aaaaand that’s it for this week! Thanks for joining us!

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