EU country minister responds to ‘authoritarianism’ accusation — RT World News

EU country minister responds to ‘authoritarianism’ accusation — RT World News

A senior Polish cabinet official rejected allegations that the conservative government in Warsaw has exploited security threats for political gain

Poland’s digital affairs minister has insisted the country’s upcoming elections would be free and fair, dismissing allegations of “growing authoritarianism” after critics accused the government of trampling the rule of law.

Speaking to Euronews on Friday, Janusz Cieszynski addressed the claim that Poland’s conservative government had politicized the security situation in the run-up to the October elections.

“If we don’t invest in our army right now, we might just end up paying for our enemy’s army that’s going to be stationed in Poland in the future,” he told the outlet, claiming that his country is “under almost as much of a threat as Ukraine” from Russian cyber attacks.

Asked whether he could guarantee the upcoming race would be “free and fair,” the minister said “of course,” adding “If someone says that we have growing authoritarianism, I need examples.”

“Our democracy is fairly young. But in this incarnation, there were never serious accusations about the elections being rigged in Poland. This has just never happened,” he continued.

Warsaw recently opted to step up security precautions along the border with Belarus, announcing plans to station some 10,000 soldiers on the frontier, effectively doubling the military presence there. Polish officials said the decision was meant to bolster border guard officers, though Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki also cited claims that the Russian private military company, Wagner Group, was inching closer to Polish territory last month.

While some opposition figures have said the deployment was a calculated political move ahead of the October elections, Cieszynski argued that the detractors “have no credibility when it comes to security and defense.”

“They disbanded military units; they closed police stations. They rationalized this by saying that we don’t have the money,” he added.

The Polish government has also come under fire by the European Union over alleged rule-of-law violations, with the bloc issuing an annual review in July citing “serious concerns” over “the independence of the Polish judiciary.”

Earlier this year, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled against Warsaw in a rule-of-law case challenging the legality of various judicial appointments, imposing a fine of €360 million ($385 million). The bloc also continues to withhold various payments owed to Poland until it implements a number of reforms, including money from its €35 billion pandemic recovery fund.

Poland insists that criticisms from Brussels are politically motivated and has accused the European bloc of trampling on its sovereignty. In June, Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro denounced the top EU court as “corrupt.” 

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