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Polish opposition sceptical about PM's court reform proposals

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 20.01.2016 13:39
Opposition MPs in Poland have taken a sceptical line on a potential compromise announced by Prime Minister Beata Szydło over reforms to the Constitutional Tribunal.
Photo: GlowimagesPhoto: Glowimages

During her speech at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday, the prime minister argued that the ruling Law and Justice party “had never wanted a majority in the tribunal", but only “balance”.

She said her government would agree to eight of the 15 judges being opposition nominees.

However, Grzegorz Schetyna, who is currently likely to emerge as the new leader of the defeated Civic Platform party, said on Wednesday that he did not believe the proposal and argued that it would entail a change in the constitution.

Meanwhile, Ryszard Petru of the Nowoczesna party said that the question “is not about who appoints [the judges], rather it's important that the institution is independent.”

Both Civic Platform and Law and Justice have exposed themselves to criticism over the tribunal.

In the run-up to the 25 October general election, the Civic Platform dominated parliament appionted five new judges.

The Constitutional Tribunal later ruled that two of the appointments were premature.

The Law and Justice led parliament later passed an amendment allowing for the nomination of five judges, all duly sworn in by President Andrzej Duda,

The president has declined to swear in any of the five Civic Platform judges. (nh/rg)

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