Opposition calls upon president Duda to veto court reforms

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gf
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TVN24 News in English, PAP
Lawmakers in the lower house of parliament voted 234-211 to disregard the rejection by the Senate of a law which would allow judges who criticise the government's reforms to be disciplined
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Lawmakers in the lower house of parliament voted 234-211 to disregard the rejection by the Senate of a law which would allow judges who criticise the government's reforms to be disciplined

Leaders of three opposition groupings - Civic Coalition (KO), the Left and PSL-Kukiz15 - on Thursday called upon President Duda not to ratify the bill on court reforms that would allow judges critical of changes proposed by the government to be disciplined. They also appealed to the president to meet them in order to hear why should he veto the amendment.

Polish lawmakers voted in favour of a bill that would allow judges who criticise the government's reforms to be disciplined, setting the stage for fresh conflict with Brussels which says the law is designed to muzzle judges.

The bill will now be sent over to be signed by the president, and eventually, to become the law. Leaders of three oppoistion groupings - Borys Budka (KO), Krzysztof Gawkowski (the Left) and Piotr Zgorzelski (PSL-Kukiz15) - organised a joint press conference shortly after the vote.

"Right now we need a joint message from all opposition groupings, we need to speak in one voice, which will reassure public opinion that we're all on the same side, on the side of democratic Poland, on the side of Poland seeking further integration with the European Union" - said Borys Budka.

"That's why we expect the president to meet with the representatives of opposition grouping as soon as possible, so we can present arguments that would help the president to make the only right decision, namely to veto that disgraceful bill" - said the head of the Civic Coalition parliamentary grouping.

Senate disregarded

Lawmakers in the lower house of parliament voted 234-211 to disregard the rejection by the Senate of a law which would allow judges who criticise the government's reforms to be disciplined.

The opposition-dominated Senate voted 51-48 to reject the bill on Friday (January 17th), but it is not able to block the reform, which will become law if it is signed by President Andrzej Duda, a PiS ally.

Duda, who faces a presidential election this year, offered a strident defence of PiS's reforms on Friday, saying he would not allow anybody to tell Poland "in foreign languages" what system it should have.

PiS says the bill, which was rejected by the opposition-controlled Senate, is necessary to avoid chaos in the legal system, as some judges have started questioning the legality of the appointment of others.

But Brussels, human rights activists and lawyers believe the bill is designed to stop criticism of the government's wide-ranging reforms, which they say aim to increase government control over the judiciary..

Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP

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