No referendum for Duda

According to a recent survey 43 percent of Poles want changes made to the constitution. 49 percent oppose. In a series of public opinion surveys by IBRiS for Rzeczpospolita, over 40 percent of respondents see the rejection of the referendum proposal as not damaging to the president’s position.

editor: REMIX NEWS

Another 52 percent of people suggest that Duda should build a broader agreement around his initiative and continue his discussion with Poles. The majority of voters of Law and Justice (83 percent) and Kukiz15 (72 percent) want to continue the constitutional debate. The strongest opposition is amongst the SLD – Democratic Left Alliance voters (73 percent). Both the Civic Platform and Modern party liberal voters remain roughly equally divided on the subject.

Last week, Polish President Andrzej Duda turned to the Senate for a referendum to change the Polish constitution and failed to win the necessary votes. The majority of Law and Justice senators abstained and those from the Civic Platform voted against. The fifteen questions included: “Are you in favour of adopting a new constitution?” and “Are you in favour of a constitutionally guaranteed European Union membership for Poland?”

Although Poles are not yet ready for changes to the constitution, they encourage conversation and debate on the topic, writes Tomasz Krzyżak for Rzeczpospolita.pl. Speaker of the Senate Stanisław Karczewski says “that the result of the vote shouldn’t be seen as Duda’s failure. His success is instigating conversation.” The Speaker and many Law and Justice MPs agree that changes to the constitution are necessary, but disagreed with the proposed dates – November 10th and 11th — which coincide with the 100th anniversary of Poland’s independence.

Jarosław Flis, a sociologist from Jagiellonian University, reminds both Law and Justice and President Duda that those encouraging discussion should not be underestimated. Duda, according to Flis, “made a mistake putting the referendum on edge. The last referendums in Europe turned into popularity contests of who is for and against the government. Like in Italy or the United Kingdom.”


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