Justice for Almost All

Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "New Warsaw Express"

Justice for Almost All
Justice Minister Andrzej Sadowski’s job was hanging by the thinnest of threads this week, in the first scandal to hit Prime Minister Marek Belka’s thus far squeaky-clean technocrat cabinet. Sadowski told Belka two weeks ago he was ready to resign after the tabloid Super Express reported on a road accident he had caused nine years ago.
Due to legal immunity from prosecution, first as a judge and now in his double role as justice minister and prosecutor general, Sadowski has not been forced to face criminal charges for the accident, which left the 53-year-old woman in the second car on crutches for life.
“The minister has placed himself at the prime minister’s disposal,” said Krzysztof Janik, head of the ruling Democratic Left Alliance (SLD), on Tuesday. He also intimated that Sadowski’s replacement has already been chosen, but declined to name anyone. The daily Rzeczpospolita pointed to Roman Hauser, a former president of the Supreme Administrative Court.
The scandal has tarnished Belka’s government in a quiet holiday period – not least because the prime minister has himself been away from Warsaw and off-duty since mid-August.
“It is a farce that this matter has been pulled out just because Sadowski has become a minister,” was Belka’s only comment three weeks ago. “For nine years the legal authorities have found no grounds to take this further.”
But with parliament and the nation’s press now fully back in session, most commentators view Sadowski’s days as numbered. A straight-talking and likeable economist, Belka won his way into power earlier this year on a ticket of ending the sleaze allegations that brought down his predecessor Leszek Miller’s cabinet. And vitally for Belka’s left-wing ex-communist backers in the Democratic Left Alliance – it’s working. Recent polls show the party back up into double figures from all-time lows around 5-6 percent reached under Miller.
With that in mind, all signs are that Belka’s cabinet will be reapproved by parliament in a confidence vote scheduled for mid-October. The period in between is unlikely to be hassle-free though – ministers face the daunting task of passing Poland’s most restrictive budget in three years at a time when MPs want to up spending ahead of next year’s election.
This also involves keeping hefty tabs on rises in public pay and social security spending – likely to attract loud complaints from trade unions and the government’s leftist backers. And with all that in store, there is still a chance Sadowski’s speeding offence almost a decade ago may fade into the background.
Steven Muller

squeaky-clean – extremely clean
intimated – suggested, implied
declined – refused, did not agree to
tarnished – tainted, degraded, hurt its reputation
grounds – justification, official reason
sleaze allegations – accusations of dirty dealing, of corruption
hassle-free – trouble-free, easy
keeping hefty tabs on – control strictly, severely restrain

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