Hundreds of people have gathered in front of the presidential palace in Warsaw to protest against plans by the populist ruling party to put the Supreme Court and the rest of the judicial system under the party’s political control.
The demonstration was part of wider protests and candle-lit vigils which broke out across Poland four days ago, demanding that Polish President Andrzej Duda, veto the bill which critics say will undermine judicial independence.
Agencja Gazeta/Lukasz Cynalewski / REUTERS
Democracy icon and former president Lech Walesa addressed large crowds in Gdansk – where he led strikes in the 1980s against the then-communist regime that eventually toppled the government and ushered in democracy.
The 73-year-old recalled those democratic changes, saying that the separation of powers into the legislative, executive and judicial branches was the most important achievement of his Solidarity movement.
_Agencja Gazeta/Jan Rusek / REUTERS _
The European Union and many international legal experts say the changes would mark a dramatic reversal for a country hailed as a model of democratic transition over the past quarter century, and move Poland closer toward