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EU Council chief: democracy in Poland is not at risk

PR dla Zagranicy
Roberto Galea 21.12.2016 09:45
Democracy in Poland is not at risk, but "it would be good if authorities take a step back," European Council President Donald Tusk has said amid a parliamentary crisis in the country.
European Council President Donald Tusk. Photo: European CouncilEuropean Council President Donald Tusk. Photo: European Council

Tusk, a former prime minister of Poland, said that “certain standards which Poles are very attached to have been violated and broken”.

Poland is in the midst of a simmering crisis in the lower house, which has led to several days of protests inside and outside the parliament building in Warsaw.

Opposition MPs have been staging a sit-in protest since Friday, demanding a key vote on next year’s budget to be repeated.

When an opposition MP raised the issue of new media rules during a parliamentary debate on Friday, the Speaker of the lower house excluded him from debate and took away his voting rights.

Opposition MPs then stormed the rostrum, blocking proceedings.

Following several hours of recess, deputies from the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party convened in an ancillary hall and passed next year’s budget. Opposition MPs have said that the vote, carried out by a raising of hands, was illegal, and should be repeated.

But PiS MPs insisted the ballot was in line with regulations.

Police will remain

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said that police will patrol the grounds of the parliament building “as long as there is a threat”.

Dozens of police vehicles have been stationed in front of the parliament building, with officers setting up heavy barricades around the perimeter.

Since Friday, daily protests have also been held outside the building, with supporters of opposition parties slamming what they described as undemocratic practices by PiS. Law and Justice has rejected such charges.


tags: Tusk Donald
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