Ruling party calmly awaiting decision on media law – dep. speaker

A senior member of Law and Justice (PiS), the dominant party in Poland’s governing coalition, has suggested the president may not approve of a new media law that lies at the centre of an international controversy over media freedom in Poland.

Ryszard Terlecki, who is the deputy speaker of the Sejm, the lower house of parliament, also said that his party was calmly waiting for the president's decision to sign or veto the law.

The legislation introduces an amendment to Poland's media law that limits ownership of Polish media companies to entities based in the European Economic Area.

Its critics claim it is designed to silence the US-owned television network TVN, which through its news channel TVN24 has been critical of the government.

Asked if he would be surprised by a veto, Terlecki replied that it was difficult to say.

"The president seems to be announcing that he does not like it in its entirety, so one can expect anything. We are calmly waiting to see what will happen," said Terlecki.

Referring to media reports that PiS had reached an agreement on a veto, Terlecki said: "No, we did not come to any kind of agreement with the president."

Terlecki's comments reflect criticism of the law by the president.

On Sunday, in response to a question posed during a TVP Info news channel interview as to whether he would sign or veto the law, Duda said that the legislation was "controversial as well as incomprehensible to our American partners."

He stated that this was because "first of all, due to their view on protection of property for which Americans are known and, secondly, due to their standpoint on the fundamental value of freedom of speech which, generally, is absolute in the US and in the media."