On Monday, Poland's National Media Council suddenly decided to dismiss Jacek Kurski from his position as the head of state television TVP. Speculations abound as to his role in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
Ten artykuł czytasz w ramach bezpłatnego limitu

Follow the big issues that shape Polish politics and society by signing up to our weekly newsletter " News from Poland: Democracy at Stake ". It allows you to stay up to speed on developments concerning the ongoing assault on democratic institutions, rule of law, and human rights in Poland.

Nothing indicated the sudden change. The National Media Council's Monday meeting schedule did not include a vote on the composition of the public television’s board of directors. Jacek Kurski, the head of Poland’s public broadcaster (TVP), was only supposed to present the company's investment plans. He presented them to the Council online, and as soon as he hung up, the head of the Council, Krzysztof Czabański, Jarosław Kaczyński’s close associate, made a motion to dismiss Mr. Kurski. He refused to justify his decision.

PM Morawiecki: it was an autonomous decision of the National Media Council

Three Council members affiliated with the ruling Law and Justice party and two representatives of the Left voted in favor of Kurski's dismissal. The Council then immediately held a vote on his successor - Mateusz Matyszkowicz, until now Kurski's deputy. He seemed surprised when the Council contacted him, but it later turned out that he had previously agreed to run for the post. This time, only those affiliated with the Law and Justice party voted in favor of his appointment. Robert Kwiatkowski was against the motion, and Marek Rutka abstained. - The whole thing lasted about ten minutes- Mr. Kwiatkowski told "Wyborcza".

It is not entirely certain whether Mateusz Matyszkowicz will be able to keep the job until next year's parliamentary elections. According to our sources, Małgorzata Raczyńska, who sympathizes with the ruling camp and has been associated with TVP for years, is also on the list of Kurski’s possible successors.

Only the ruling party’s top members knew about the decision to dismiss Mr. Kurski. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, whose closest circle does not approve of the former TVP chairman, commented rather sparingly on the changes: - The decision to dismiss TVP’s Chairman Jacek Kurski was made autonomously by the National Media Council- he said and referred journalists to the Council for further questions. However, he did not dodge a question regarding speculations about Kurski entering the government. - As usual, when there are any changes, you will all, of course, learn about them in due course- he only said.

Jacek Kurski himself referred to the decision on Twitter: "I confirm that as a result of the decision of my political environment, in full agreement with me, I have ceased to be the head of TVP. I know that further challenges lie ahead of me. The TV station to which I have devoted the last 7 years of my life is today at the peak of its power, magnificent as ever. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank our viewers and all those working for TVP".

TWEET

What’s next for Mr. Kurski?

Our sources inside the government claim that "Kurski is carrying out his plan" with Jarosław Kaczyński’s approval, and he is said to have "already selected a district" where he wants to run for office. "Wyborcza" recently wrote that Kurski wants to run for Parliament in 2023. He has long made no secret of his political ambitions. - He cares about parliamentary privilege- members of the Law and Justice party said at that time, jokingly.

Now, they speculate that Kurski may become actively involved in the upcoming election campaign and join the official staff, which is already in place at PiS headquarters on Nowogrodzka Street.

PiS spokesman Radosław Fogiel was quick to assure on Twitter that "the change in the position of TVP’s chairman does not, of course, mean a negative assessment of Mr. Kurski’s work to date". That's because "new tasks will soon lie ahead of Jacek Kurski".

Mr. Kurski has long had direct access to the ruling party’s leader. According to the daily "Dziennik Gazeta Prawna", he is an advocate of changes to the election code. And it was he who was supposed to present Kaczyński with analyses that PiS would gain from the new rules if it redrew the electoral map to include about a hundred electoral districts instead of the current 41.

***

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 Russian invasion in Ukraine. Our journalists are on the front lines in 32 Polish cities, reporting from the streets, hospitals, and courtrooms about issues that move public opinion.

We decided to make our service available to everyone free of charge in order to provide access to high quality journalism for expats and English speakers interested in Polish affairs.

The access to information should be equal for all.

Gazeta Wyborcza Foundation
DONATE
Czytaj ten tekst i setki innych dzięki prenumeracie
Wybierz prenumeratę, by czytać to, co Cię ciekawi 
Wyborcza.pl to zawsze sprawdzone informacje, szczere wywiady, zaskakujące reportaże i porady ekspertów w sprawach, którymi żyjemy na co dzień. Do tego magazyny o książkach, historii i teksty z mediów europejskich.
Więcej
    Komentarze
    Zaloguj się
    Chcesz dołączyć do dyskusji? Zostań naszym prenumeratorem