It looks like Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz may have to say goodbye to the mayoralty of Warsaw. As we know the Civic Platform (PO) candidate for the position of mayor of Warsaw (see my previous blog entry) won by the narrowest of margins not so long ago. However, PO declared it a huge victory for democracy and sanity which may at least allow for the capital of the country to develop and move forward (unlike the rest of the country according to anti-Kaczyński stalwarts).
Kaczyński et al – of Law and Justice (PiS) notoriety – have said the loss was nothing but a blip, although most believed it to be a huge dent to their aspirations of world domination. The biggest loser turned out to be Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, the PiS candidate who had given up his seat in parliament to become Warsaw stand-in mayor in the hope he would walk the election. Wrong. He lost. Now it seems Marcinkiewicz has turned his back on politics (we’ll see for how long) and has put his name forward to become chairman of PKO BP, one of Poland’s largest banks.
Anyway, it seems that PM Kaczyński has found a way to dislodge Gronkiewicz-Waltz from her perch in the capital city. There is a regulation that states city and town mayors need to declare their assets by a particular date. By law this declaration should be made thirty days after taking power. HG-W did it two days too late. PM Kaczyński believes that from a legal point of view the very moment G-W failed to make the necessary declaration she ceased to be Mayor of Warsaw. What makes the problem particularly juicy is the fact that this problem pertains to around 100 other city and town mayors across Poland.
It seems none of these officials failed to make their declarations on purpose but have simply been late making them. Experts believe that ambiguities in law have led to this situation as there are two pieces of legislation that regulate this matter and to a certain extent contradict each other. Is this enough for someone to lose their office and for the government to call for new municipal elections at a huge cost to the tax payer? PiS thinks so. They will be doing their utmost to force through new elections. Obviously, the opposition disagrees as do Poland’s leading constitutionalists.