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Polish Lawmakers Adopt Supreme Court Reform | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Polish opposition parliamentarians protest against the rules proposed by the head office of the Sejm, the lower house of parliament, that would ban all recording of parliamentary sessions except by five selected television stations and limits the number of journalists allowed in the building, in the Parliament in Warsaw, Poland December 16, 2016. Slawomir Kaminski/Agencja Gazeta/via REUTERS

The Polish parliament on Thursday adopted a controversial reform of the Supreme Court concern from the opposition over judicial independence and EU threats of unprecedented sanctions.

The lawmakers made the move despite massive take to streets.

The lower house of parliament, which is controlled by the ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, voted 235 to 192 — with 23 abstentions — in favor of the law giving the justice minister power to select candidates for the court.

“The adoption of this reform violates the principles of the rule of law because it subjects the judiciary to political power. This paves the way for a non-democratic system in Poland,” political analyst Stanislaw Mocek of the Polish Academy of Sciences told AFP.

“The situation is very serious and could get out of hand. We don’t see a will for compromise on the part of PiS, and the opposition is too weak,” he said, as protesters were scheduled to rally in front of the presidential palace later Thursday.

The measure is only the latest in a slew of contested judicial reforms that the PiS says are necessary to make the judicial system more effective and fight against corruption.

But Grzegorz Schetyna, leader of the centrist opposition party Civic Platform (PO), had denounced the Supreme Court reform earlier Thursday as “a rampant coup”.