Poland’s PM criticizes new president for referendum questions; tensions return between parties

Poland’s prime minister has sharply criticized the country’s new president, a political rival, for seeking a referendum on three issues important to the conservative political party that backs him, Law and Justice.

Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz of the center-right Civic Platform party said Friday she feels “disappointed” and accused President Andrzej Duda of failing to represent the interests of all Poles. The dispute signals the return of tensions between Poland’s two leading parties.

Duda called Thursday for three referendum questions to be added to the ballot for the Oct. 25 parliamentary election. They involve the retirement age, the age children should begin compulsory schooling and protection for state forests.

Kopacz said questions in a national referendum should be discussed with other parties, adding that Poland “is not a one-party state.”

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