Polish PM faces second confidence vote over bugging scandal

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk is to face a second confidence vote in as many weeks as the country`s opposition seeks to force his centre-right government to resign over a high-profile bugging scandal.

AFP| Updated: Jul 09, 2014, 00:36 AM IST

Warsaw: Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk is to face a second confidence vote in as many weeks as the country`s opposition seeks to force his centre-right government to resign over a high-profile bugging scandal.

The opposition conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party said on Tuesday it would put forward a motion in parliament calling on the government to step down.
A separate motion would ask that the Interior Minister Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz, who is implicated in the scandal, also resign.

But analysts in Warsaw believe both Sienkiewicz and Tusk`s government will survive the motions, expected in parliament on Friday.
Tusk sailed through a vote of confidence he called himself on June 25, a savvy move that effectively preempted attempts to topple him.

His two-party governing coalition scored backing from 237 MPs, with 203 against and no abstentions in the 460-member parliament.

The controversy began with the leak of exchanges between top government officials in Poland.

The Polish news magazine Wprost first reported on the leaks in mid-June when it released a secret recording of the central bank chief purportedly telling Sienkiewicz that he would support the government`s economic policy if the then finance minister resigned.

The magazine has since released transcripts of other exchanges, including one in which Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski allegedly calls Poland`s US ties "worthless" and blasts British Prime Minister David Cameron as "incompetent on EU affairs".

The private conversations allegedly took place at a number of fashionable Warsaw restaurants over the last 18 months.

Tusk has called the leaks an attempted "coup d`etat" aimed at "destabilising" Poland at a time of crisis in neighbouring Ukraine.

The bugging affair has already resulted in charges against four people, including a restaurant manager and waiter -- prompting some to label the affair "Waitergate" on social media.

Tusk began his second consecutive term in office following a November 2011 landslide win, but his popularity has since waned amid muted economic growth and persistent unemployment.

The next regularly scheduled general election is due in the autumn of 2015.