Polish President Andrzej Duda Intends To Veto Contentious Media Law Opposed By US

Andrzej Duda
Andrzej Duda

The Polish President Andrzej Duda has said that will block the media bill that had the backing of the governing nationalist coalition. The controversial bill was intended to restrict foreign influence in Polish media. It would have risked the function of a TV station backed by an American company. The proposal of the bill led to a demonstration in the capital, Warsaw.

Andrzej Duda was wary of endangering his nation’s relations with America, which has been its protector and closest ally for some time now. The prospect of a TV station owned by an American company losing its permit led to the US exerting pressure on Andrzej to stop the bill.

The veto effectively nixes efforts for years by the hard-line elements in the governing nationalist party to limit what they believe was foreign interference and influence. These elements had sought to further stifle the nation’s media space and give more power to the news outlets that support the hardliners in the party and share in their deep conservative values that at time borders on the xenophobic.

Right-Wing Politicians Insist Andrzej Duda’s Action Was Not Aimed At US

Andrzej Duda won a 2nd term last year with the support of the Law and Justice, the governing party. His veto could strain the coalition government that has already been deeply divided on the extent to which the conservative agenda could be pushed.

The agenda is rooted in deference to the all-powerful Catholic Church plus a belief that Poland’s sovereignty overrides its commitments to NATO and the EU, which Poland has been a member of for around 2 decades.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the Law, and Justice leader maintained that the law was to target Chinese and Russian interference and stop drug money entering Polish media, and was not targeted at American investors.  

But TVN was the most affected, and it is owned by Discovery Inc. controlled through a Dutch subsidiary.

Andrzej Duda has cited trade and economic deals with the US and refused to sign the law. He said that an agreement has been reached with allies and the country must honor it.

The US embassy in Warsaw welcomed President Andrzej Duda’s commitment to veto the media bill. It thanked him for his leadership and commitment to common democratic values. They had earlier declared disappointment at the original initiation of the bill and said that they were thankful to Andrzej Duda for protecting the investment climate in his country.

Right-wing supporters of the coalition expressed a decision at President Duda’s decision.

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