Ex-coalition partner hits out at 'fanatical' Polish leader

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In this file photo taken on May 06, 2020 Polish Minister of Science Jaroslaw Gowin — leader of small right wing party Agreement (Porozumienie) in coalition with ruling Law and Justice Party is seen during a session of the lower house of parliament in Warsaw. (Photo: Agence France-Presse)
WARSAW — The leader of Poland's ruling party is isolating his country and inadvertently playing into Russia's hands, former deputy prime minister Jaroslaw Gowin told AFP in an interview on Tuesday.اضافة اعلان

Ruled from Moscow in Communist times, Poland has since emerged as a noisy critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin and regularly pushes for tough action against the former superpower.

But Gowin said moves by Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of the Law and Justice party (PiS), were playing into Putin's hands.

"The practical results of his recent activity are much more convergent with Russia's interests than those of Poland," he said.

"I think that Kaczynski doesn't realize the consequences of his politics.
"He is so fanatically convinced that he's right, and is going against the views of most of his circle."

Gowin, whose Agreement party was a junior partner in coalition with Kaczynski's PiS for years, was dismissed last week after growing increasingly at odds with PiS.

One of the reasons for the rupture was a proposed media law that Gowin said went "against free speech and media pluralism" and was "harmful for Poland both economically and politically".

If adopted, the law would force the US group Discovery to give up control of the main independent news channel TVN24.

In addition to sparring with the US, which has said it is "deeply troubled" by the media law, Poland is also involved in a row with the European Union over judicial reforms.

Gowin argues these actions are more beneficial to the Kremlin than to Poland.
Warsaw's "conflicts with Berlin, Brussels, and Washington and Poland's isolation in international circles is a dream come true for Vladimir Putin", he said.

'Just as unacceptable'

Gowin said he believed the Polish government would back down from the most contested parts of its judicial reform program for fear of losing EU money, but had reservations as to whether the climbdown would be genuine.
"I expect the PiS will try to replace the current rules with others that are just as unacceptable," he said.

Gowin is known as a flexible player on Poland's highly polarized political scene, having served as a minister in a government led by Kaczynski's arch-rival and former EU chief Donald Tusk.

His departure from the current government has thrown its future into doubt, with some observers saying it will not make it to the next elections scheduled for 2023.

Gowin said the PiS would probably call elections for the spring of next year and receive the highest number of votes, though nowhere near enough for a majority on its own.

"I also believe it won't find any coalition partners in the future parliament," he said. 

Gowin said he would be willing to join forces with anyone in the interest of the country, adding that he was working towards forming a moderate center-right coalition.

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