Hear the secretly filmed tapes (with transcript) by Renata Beger for yourself here
A few hundred people have been outside the Sejm, the parliament building, protesting against the Law and Justice (PiS) government’s (alleged) corruption.
The extraordinary Teraz My program on TVN last night, showing a member of the ruling party seemingly bribing MP Renata Beger (pictured above emerging from tractor) to join them in a new coalition, has left most Poles gobsmacked.
Sixty Five percent told pollsters today that parliament should be dissolved and new elections called.
Like all alleged corruption scandals the details are complicated. But basically, the TV program showed PiS’s Adam Lipinski offering Samoobrona member Beger a post in the cabinet and other incentives to join the government. But what has scandalized Poles is that he also offered to set up a ‘fund’ of tax payers money to pay for any penalty Beger or other members of Samoobrona would have to give to their party if they left it to join the government. (When Samoobrona members entered parliament last year they were asked to sign an contract agreeing that if they left the party during the time they were MPs then they would have to pay a substantial fine. It’s thought that this agreement is actually unconstitutional but Beger didn’t know that for sure at the time of the alleged bribe – neither did Lipinski.)
Government spokesmen have been defending themselves by saying that the secret recording of the conversation in the hotel used by lawmakers was ‘illegal’ [?]. They are saying the whole thing was a ‘set up’ to make the government look bad (er…well, it does). They are saying that anything that was offered to Beger was part of the usual horse trading of coalition building (Oh, really?). They are also saying that the ‘fund’ for the Samoobrona splinter group would be paid for by PiS, not the tax payer (the legality of even that is questionable).
Renata Beger has been prancing around the place looking very pleased with herself. She is saying she cooperated with the TV crew because she simply couldn’t stand seeing public life being ‘corrupted in this way’.
A truly amazing comment as this year she was found guilty of making up the list of sponsorship signatures lawmakers need to qualify as a candidate for parliament. Renata is a sleazy pot calling PiS’s kettle black.
As the above opinion poll shows, average Poles are disgusted by the recent antics. This government campaigned on bringing in a ‘moral revolution’ in Poland after years of sleaze and corruption. And here, it seems, we are again.
An election now looks almost certain (surly!) as it will be very difficult for other political parties to enter into agreements with Law and Justice. Anyone who does join this government now must be into self-abuse, in all its forms.
But this is bad news for politics in Poland in general. It will drive Poles further still away from politicians, who they already believe are a bunch of rancid, cynical pygmies.
But the planned march against the government on October 7 looks like it will be very interesting indeed.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Posted by beatroot at 9/27/2006