Demonstrations held against and in support of Polish government over constitutional crisis

Tens of thousands of people held demonstrations in Poland over the weekend after the new Law and Justice (PiS) government moved to replace five judges chosen to the Constitutional Tribunal, the country’s top court, by the former parliamentary majority with its own choices.

In a Wednesday ruling Poland’s highest judicial body found partially unconstitutional the amendment to the Constitutional Tribunal law introduced by PiS, making it impossible to oust the tribunal president Andrzej Rzeplinski and deputy president Stanislaw Biernat. Also, the court said that PiS had no right to select three judges to replace appointees by the previous parliament. PiS largely ignored the ruling, referring to it as an “opinion,” while President Andrzej Duda swore in the last judge appointed by PiS just before the ruling, citing “the will of the nation” and the fact that the previous governing majority had lost its mandate.

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