Polish ruling party loses majority amid rift over media bill
Poland’s ruling right-wing party lost its parliamentary majority Wednesday after a small coalition partner announced that it was leaving amid a rift over legislation it views as an attack on media freedom.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki kicked the head of the Agreement party, Jaroslaw Gowin, a deputy prime minister, out of the government on Tuesday.
Gowin’s party said Wednesday that it was formally leaving the governing coalition, meaning that the right-wing ruling party, Law and Justice, has lost its slim majority in parliament.
A vote was expected later Wednesday on the bill at the center of the dispute, which would prevent non-European owners from having controlling stakes in Polish media companies.
The legislation is widely viewed as a effort to silence an independent, U.S.-owned television broadcaster that is critical of the government. It would push American company Discovery Inc. to sell its controlling stake in TVN, a network with many channels that operates Poland’s all-news station TVN24 and has a flagship evening news program watched daily by millions.
Law and Justice appeared poised to pick up some votes from opposition lawmakers, including some from Confederation, a small party made up of libertarian and nationalist politicians.