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>> Poland's parliament giving itself the power to appoint Supreme Court judges passing a bill Thursday that lawyers, opposition, politicians and the European Union say undermines democracy and judicial independence.>> They will rid the citizens of the right to an independent court, one of the most important civil rights.
A right without which other rights and freedoms cannot be defended, without which the authorities cannot be controlled.>> Opposition to the bill which must now be passed by the Upper House, has spilled onto the streets of Warsaw. Protestors gathering outside parliament again overnight. They say the law, among other reforms, is part of a creeping authoritarianism.
The ruling law and justice party has tightened the government's grip on courts, state media, and social gatherings since it came to power in 2015. Any criticism is just foreign meddling, it says.>> Tragedy, chutzpah, subversion, I don't know what to call it. Something frightening.>> European Council President, Donald Tusk, a former Polish Prime Minister, called the judicial changes backward, demanding a meeting with Poland's president.
The EU has given Warsaw a week to halt the reforms, it could in theory suspend Poland's EU voting rights if it doesn't apply the brake.