Anti-government protests have continued for a third day in Warsaw over plans to restrict journalists’ access to lawmakers in parliament.
Carrying banners which said “we will not give up on freedom”, several thousand marched outside the constitutional court to thank its outgoing head, Andrzej Rzeplinski, for having opposed changes which they claim are against the law.
“If the opposition isn’t allowed to vote…then Poland is heading towards what we can term ‘electoral dictatorship’ https://t.co/3hjJ9n8RIL— Anne Applebaum (@anneapplebaum) December 18, 2016
Opposition MPs say the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) is trying to stifle press freedom with its plans to limit the number of reporters allowed to cover parliament.
As well as the number of journalists permitted to enter the parliament building being restricted, only five selected Polish TV stations will be allowed to record or broadcast parliamentary sessions.
The government denies the measures are restrictive.
Political tension is rising in Poland between its conservative government and the pro-European Union opposition.
For the first time PiS supporters also came out onto the streets.
The new rules for journalists have led to the biggest political stand-off in the country for years.
Polish President Andrzej Duda has said he will meet party leaders today (Monday Dec 19) to try to defuse the row.
Poland president in crisis talks on third day of protests https://t.co/vkxHpaTBQ8— AFP news agency (@AFP) December 18, 2016
A wider conflict started building last year after the PiS took power and began introducing sweeping changes in the legislative sector, the media and education.