Solidary Poland votes down motion to leave governing coalition

Paweł Supernak/PAP

Leaders of the Solidary Poland party have voted down, 12 to 8, a motion to break away from the ruling coalition, party's leader Zbigniew Ziobro said on Saturday afternoon.

"The secret vote by 12 to 8 votes rejected the motion of one of our colleagues to leave the coalition over the decision made at the (EU - PAP) summit, where the Polish prime minister, against the recommendations of the Ministry of Justice and Solidary Poland, which had consistently held the same position, decided agree to the provisions of the budget package including a conditionality regulation," Ziobro, who is also Polish justice minister, told a press conference.

He added that Solidary Poland will vote against the adoption of the next EU budget.

Leaders of Solidary Poland, a junior partner in Poland's United Right coalition gathered earlier in the day to prepare their stance on the budget deal struck between the EU and the two opposing countries, Poland and Hungary, on Thursday. Warsaw and Hungary were against the inclusion of a clause that ties budget payouts with observance of the rule of law by member states.

Ziobro's criticism of Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki for accepting the bloc's budget compromise, which did include the rule of law mechanism albeit with detailed conditions tied to it, caused serious rifts within the ruling camp threatening the coalition's unity.

In a statement released just hours after the budget agreement was reached late on Thursday, Ziobro wrote on social media that the decision to accept the conditionality clause in the budget package without legally enforceable safeguards "is a mistake."

He also said that "the regulation regarding a specific rule of law conditionality mechanism will make it possible to significantly limit Poland's sovereignty," and that "it also violates the EU Treaties."