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-All of us as citizens have to recognize that the path towards an undemocratic America is not gonna happen in just one bang. It happens in a series of steps- former US president Barack Obama said in an interview with CNN on Monday, citing Poland and Hungary as a warning to America of how "functioning democracies" can devolve into "essentially authoritarian" states in a matter of ten years.
Obama’s critical remarks did not go unnoticed by Poland’s ruling camp politicians. Reacting to his comment, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki invited the former US president to "see for himself up close" that Poland "is developing beautifully".
Mr Obama is not the first high-ranking US politician to strike a critical tone towards Poland in recent months. The Biden administration has also criticized Poland’s democratic backsliding, publically denouncing the Polish government’s violations of the rule law, its attacks on independent media, and its hateful rhetoric against the LGBT+ community.
During his 2020 presidential campaign, Joe Biden mentioned Poland and Hungary alongside Belarus and other totalitarian regimes when talking about the crisis of democracy.
The Polish President, in turn, was one of the last world leaders to congratulate Joe Biden on his election victory. When a few days after the election it became clear that Joe Biden's lead over Donald Trump was unassailable, congratulations to Joe Biden started to flow in all over the world. Already on November 7, 25 of the 27 European Union countries congratulated the new US president on his victory. Andrzej Duda waited with his congratulations until December 15.
Every day, 400 journalists at Gazeta Wyborcza write verified, fact-checked stories about Polish politics and society, keeping a critical eye on the ruling camp’s persistent assault on democratic values and the rule of law; the growing cultural tension between religious fundamentalism and human rights; and the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic. Our journalists are on the front lines in 25 Polish cities, reporting from the streets, hospitals, and courtrooms about issues that move public opinion.
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