Former Polish Minister Mariusz Kaminski began a hunger strike after being arrested at the Presidential Palace on Tuesday along with former State Minister Maciej Wasik. They were sentenced to two years in prison for abuse of office.
“I treat my conviction as an act of political revenge,” the former interior minister said in a statement. “As a political prisoner, I started a hunger strike on the first day of my imprisonment.”
The police wanted to arrest Kaminski and Vasek at their home, but went to the palace instead. The politicians were invited there by President Andrzej Duda.
Duda, Kaminski and Wasik are all members of the right-wing populist Law and Justice party. This party was present in the government until recently, but the government led by Donald Tusk has now taken power.
Tusk has led a pro-European government since December. But at the same time, Duda will remain president until the 2025 elections. Until then, the two are doomed to each other.
Tusk accuses Duda of sabotage
Polish Prime Minister Tusk accused President Duda of sabotage on Tuesday. According to the Prime Minister, Duda tried to prevent the arrest by inviting him.
“Mr. President, my sincere appeal for the well-being of the Polish state: You must put an end to this spectacle. It puts us in a very dangerous situation,” Tusk said.
In his response, Kaminsky said that they were not hiding in the palace. “We are not hiding. Now we are with the Polish president until evil loses.”
Duda said on Wednesday that he was “deeply shocked” by the arrests. He had previously pardoned Kaminski and Wasik, but the Supreme Court declared that decision illegal last year.
The Law and Justice Party won the elections in October, but lost its majority. Tusk managed to form a majority with three parties that united to defeat PiS. Since then there have been tensions.
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