Ireneusz Raś, Bogusław Sonik and Franciszek Sterczewski are three MPs from the Civic Coalition who behaved differently in the parliamentary vote on Tuesday than provided for by the discipline adopted in their club. The club was to abstain from voting on the ratification allowing the Reconstruction Fund to be launched. The first two consciously did not take part in the vote, the last one voted in favor. – In such votes abstaining is wrong – assessed Raś. The other two politicians also explained the reasons for their decisions.
On Tuesday evening, the Sejm passed a law approving the ratification of the decision to increase the European Union’s own resources. The ratification of this decision by all Member States is necessary to mobilize the COVID-19 Reconstruction Fund.
290 deputies voted for the bill, 33 deputies against, and 133 deputies abstained. The overwhelming majority of the Civic Coalition Club (127 out of 130 deputies) – in line with earlier announcements – abstained from voting. One MP, Franciszek Sterczewski, voted in favor of the ratification act. Two MPs – Ireneusz Raś and Bogusław Sonik – did not take part in the vote, although they did take part in earlier Tuesday’s voting. They did so, although there was discipline in this vote in the Civic Coalition club. All three later explained their decisions.
Raś: abstaining in such votes is wrong
Ireneusz Raś admitted that he had consciously resigned from voting in Tuesday’s voting. – This program is important for Poland. The club and party authorities negotiated and in the end it happened that it was decided to abstain. Abstaining in such votes is wrong – assessed the deputy.
In his opinion, it was bad that the opposition split over the Reconstruction Fund and the related National Reconstruction Plan. – I believed that finally the Platform [Obywatelska – przyp. red.] it should be together with the opposition, negotiate as best as possible and vote for this money, with our age-old principle that integration is important and that, especially in a situation like this, one has to reach for this money for the development of Poland – Raś argued
He also admitted that the “tactics” of Law and Justice to break up the opposition had been successful. – I do not want to criticize the Left, because I did not negotiate with it, I have to look into my garden. I preferred not to vote than to abstain. If it were not for the club discipline, I would probably vote for – noted the deputy.
In his opinion, a different strategy should have been adopted with regard to the Reconstruction Fund. – This is not just a remark to Borys Budka, because I think it was the decision of some of the most important people in the party, which did not – as you can see – in the final of success, but forced us to behave a bit, forced by this situation, Raś said. – I think that the people who handled the whole case should explain why it happened this way and it did not otherwise – he added.
He assessed that there are more people who have reservations about the negotiating tactics of the PO authorities. Therefore – as Raś emphasized – in this matter a “deep analysis” should be carried out, which should be carried out by the management of this party – We must draw conclusions, because it cannot be said that we were in a comfortable situation voting on such an important issue for Poland – he added.
Sonik: I didn’t want to break the discipline
Bogusław Sonik consciously did not take part in the vote. “I did not want to break the discipline, and in general I believe that you have to accept this solidarity fund and then worry about how it is used,” he said.
He pointed out that Poland has been using European funds for 20 years. – They were managed by different governments, different local governments and there are no great embezzlement. So I think that the fear of this fund that it may be used illegally is excessive – said Sonik.
“I do not vote for the party’s interests, but for the state and European interests”
Franciszek Sterczewski announced a few days ago that he intends to vote for the ratification act.
In a post on Facebook on Tuesday, he once again admitted that the National Reconstruction Plan regulating the spending of EU funds is not perfect, but decided to vote “in favor” of ratification.
“I do not vote for the party’s interests, but for the state and European interests. If we were to decide on joining the EU today, and we had one and not another government, I would also vote for” – noted Sterczewski.
He also assessed that “this is a vote not only for the fund, but for even greater integration of the Union.” He emphasized that in the context of the Reconstruction Fund “we are talking about a gigantic cash injection that will improve the lives of Polish women and Poles, and we must think about their interests when making every decision”.
Will there be consequences for Members?
The spokesman of the Civic Platform, Jan Grabiec, said on Tuesday that due to the discipline ordered in the club of the Civic Coalition, each of the three cases – MP Sterczewski and MPs Ras and Sonik – will be individually examined by Katarzyna Mrzygłocka, spokeswoman for club discipline.
Main photo source: PAP / Rafał Guz