The democratic backsliding in Poland continues under the leadership of the Law and Justice (PiS) government. Over the past two years, PiS has gradually stripped the judicial branch of its independence and tightened its grip over the media.
PiS has now taken aim at Poland’s election process. The Polish Senate supported the election reform bill on Dec. 21 and the lower house of the Polish Parliament, the Sejm, passed it early this morning. Now the bill will go to President Andrzej Duda for his decision.
The electoral law reform proposes a set of seemingly innocuous changes. However, two administrative reforms within the bill concerning the National Election Commission and the National Election Bureau could centralize PiS’s control over elections and further weaken democratic checks and balances in Poland.… Seguir leyendo »
On Monday morning, Polish President Andrzej Duda surprised everyone by vetoing two of three bills that would have curtailed judicial independence in Poland. Duda rejected the bill allowing the government to remove and replace Supreme Court justices, which passed both houses of parliament late last week and had prompted widespread protests. Tens of thousands of Poles across the country had engaged in daily protests as the president considered his decision over the weekend.
Most observers speculated that Duda, who aligns with the ruling Polish Law and Justice (PiS) party, would sign the bills into law. According to Article 122 of the Polish Constitution, the president has 21 days to make his decision.… Seguir leyendo »
A bill now in Poland’s Parliament would destroy the judicial system’s independence and authority — and it’s likely to become law. In 2015, the far-right populist Polish Law and Justice (PiS) party won both the presidential and parliamentary elections. Since then — despite public protests and international pressure — PiS’s party leader Jarosław Kaczyński has steadily passed laws that have eroded Poland’s democratic system of government. The bill now being considered would eliminate the judicial branch’s role in the system of checks and balances — and would at last consolidate political power in the executive and legislative branches.
How is it that one man, who is neither president nor prime minister, has so much control?… Seguir leyendo »