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By pushing for a presidential election during the coronavirus pandemic, did Poland's government put politics ahead of people's lives? DW's Conflict Zone confronts MEP Dominik Tarczynski.
Since coming to power, Poland's populist Law and Justice Party (PiS) has instituted a variety of reforms that have been met with strong criticism, not only from opposition parties but from civil society and European bodies.
The PiS reform of the judiciary has been seen as a frontal attack on both European values and laws and resulted in the activation of Article 7 of the European Union Treaty, which could see Poland’s rights in the EU suspended.
This week on DW's Conflict Zone, host Tim Sebastian challenged Dominik Tarczynski, a member of the European Parliament for Poland’s ruling party, on these reforms and the state of politics in the country.
According to critics, the PiS has presided over the transformation of public media in Poland into a “propaganda mouthpiece” for the government and mounted attacks through its political and communication organs against minority groups, including Jews and homosexuals.
In the latest turn of events, the government has attempted to strongarm the reform of the electoral system, which has caused even the Polish church - one of the party’s strongest allies - to warn of anti-constitutional behavior.
Tarczynski defended the government reforms and accused his critics of having political and ideological motivations.
He said the reforms are consistent with the party's popular support and, in his view, will receive a renewed mandate in the upcoming elections.
Read more: Which way is Europe heading?