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Poland protests: crowds and opposition renew calls for press freedom in parliament


Poland

Poland protests: crowds and opposition renew calls for press freedom in parliament

In what has become the biggest political stand-off in Poland in years, opposition MPs have occupied parliament for a second day.

The continued sit-in came as crowds once again gathered to protest against the government’s plans to restrict media access to the national assembly.

Thousands rallied in Warsaw and other cities.

In a Televised address, Poland’s prime minister branded the opposition’s blockade of parliament as scandalous.

“The move by the opposition to ignite extreme political emotions which we observed yesterday has nothing to do with the actual condition of the country. On the contrary, it is due to the helplessness, the frustration of those who have lost the power,” Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo said.

The latest show of force against the government follows Friday’s rally outside parliament which saw protesters scuffle with police.

Inside the chamber, opposition MPs managed to delay a key budget vote before the speaker reconvened in a separate room where it was passed with a show of hands. The opposition later described that move as unlawful.

Earlier on Saturday, European Council President and former Polish prime minister, Donald Tusk also waded into the political row, urging the government to respect the constitution.