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Poland: Ruling party accused of bribing opposition to win back Senate

Warsaw, Poland – The Polish opposition has accused the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party of attempting to bribe some of its members in order to win back its majority in the Senate, the upper house of Parliament.

Earlier this week, opposition senator Tomasz Grodzk claimed that a “serious politician” from the ruling party offered him the post of Health Minister if he switched alliances in favour of PiS.

Considering “himself a decent man”, the opposition senator said he “politely refused” the offer.

Analysts jokingly pointed out that offering the not-so-scrumptious position of Health Minister may be one of the worst and least effective bribes ever.

Although winning a majority of seats in the Sejm, Poland’s lower house of Parliament, after Sunday’s national elections, the ruling Law and Justice party lost its majority in the Senate, 49-51 to the opposition.

In Poland, the Senate doesn’t wield as much power as the Sejm, but may nonetheless act as an important counter-balance to the ruling party’s power and delay a number of important nominations for top officials.

Opposition leader Grzegorz Schetyna later warned on Twitter against “attempts at political corruption by PiS”, saying any efforts to bribe “opposition senators democratically elected” will be revealed and stigmatized.