Poland: Politician vows steps to make media more ‘realistic’

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The leader of Poland’s right-wing ruling party said Tuesday that some news media are misrepresenting the country’s image and vowed that steps would be taken to make them see things in a “more realistic” way.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski spoke a day after election official’s confirmed that Polish President Andrzej Duda narrowly won a second five-year term. Duda’s victory strengthens the hold on power of Kaczynski’s Law and Justice party, which backed the president’s reelection.

During Duda’s runoff campaign against Warsaw’s liberal mayor, the ruling camp accused non-state and foreign media of hostility toward Duda and the party.

In an interview with the state-owned PAP news agency Kaczynski said there was a “powerful media front inspired from the outside” during the presidential campaign. He named a private TV station in Poland that is owned by an American corporation.

“The media in Poland should be Polish,” Kaczynski said.

There was no immediate reaction from TVN or the corporation.

Kaczynski said he wants to see “balance in the media among the different options,” calling it a “condition of democracy.” He said there are policies the government could promote to accomplish that goal but vowed that “we will not do anything that would threaten media freedom.”

“We cannot ban them from taking part, I believe, in campaigns that are inspired from the outside, from destroying some and ignoring others, from painting a totally false picture of Poland and of the world,” he said. “But we can take steps to have a situation in which there will be more of the media which sees the reality in a more realistic way than we have now.”

On his own future, the 71-year-old Kaczynski said the party congress, expected in the fall, will decide whether he should quit and he said he would do it “without a grudge,” stressing he’s been the leader “long enough.”

But he also said he is ready to continue “although I’m not sure if for the whole four-year term.”

He also said he spent Sunday night waiting for the runoff results praying at Poland’s holiest Catholic shrine of Jasna Gora, in Czastochowa.

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