Protests in Poland continue over 'anti-democracy' moves

Protests in Poland continue over 'anti-democracy' moves
By Alasdair Sandford
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Demonstrations spilled into a fourth day on Monday over measures seen as attempts to cement the government's grip on power.


Anti-government demonstrators in Poland have extended a protest against plans they say are attempts to curb democracy.

A vigil resumed outside parliament, while inside opposition politicians staged a sit-in in the main hall for a fourth day.

Last week the nationalist government announced plans to reduce media access to parliament.

Then on Friday a vote on next year’s budget was moved to a side room from the main chamber. Opposition and media were excluded, escalating the tensions.

“We are going to stay here until we see results. Until the democratic process is restored. Until free press, and the public, has access to this building, because this is the temple of democracy,” said protester Jan Grabiec-Hall, speaking in English outside the parliament building.

In Krakow on Sunday night protesters tried to block the motorcade of the leader of the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS).

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who has no formal role in government but is seen as highly influential, had come to honour the anniversary of the funeral of his brother and late president.

Demonstrators in Warsaw at the weekend held up images of the outgoing head of the Constitutional Court.

Andrzej Rzeplinski leaves office on Monday after a long stand-off with the government.

Opponents say plans to reform the highest court and exert more control over state prosecutors are an attempt to tighten the government’s grip on power.

The Polish President Andrzej Duda was due to meet party leaders on Monday to try to defuse the row.

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