Poland's top politician wants tighter parliament order rules

AP News
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Posted: Jan 18, 2017 8:07 AM

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Rules must be changed in Poland's parliament to ensure order and discipline in case opposition lawmakers stage further protests and obstruction. The country's most influential politician said.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of the ruling conservative Law and Justice party, was referring to a blockade of the speaker's podium by the opposition that disrupted a parliamentary session in December, and to a subsequent four-week sit-in.

The two protesting opposition parties eventually split up and suspended the protest. But Kaczynski said they were trying to overturn the government and broke parliamentary regulations. He says steps are needed if the Civic Platform and Modern parties hold more protests in the future. He did not offer specifics.

"We will have to change the regulations in order to be able to undertake order, disciplinary steps under new conditions," Kaczynski said late Tuesday on local state TV Kielce.

In 2002, under a left-wing government, a lawmaker blocking the speaker's podium was forcefully carried out from the sessions hall by parliament guards.

Kaczynski said that the recent protest led to a crisis of the opposition, but not of the ruling party.

He was commenting on a survey released Monday by the respected CBOS center that said 37 percent of Poles who would want to vote in parliamentary elections would support Law and Justice, 16 percent would vote for Civic Platform and nine percent for Modern. The survey of 1,045 adult Poles had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.