Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo had to be evacuated from the parliament building Friday as massive protests against the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) continue around the country.
A political standoff emerged Friday when opposition MPs refused to grant the government access to the podium over plans to restrict media access to the parliament building. PiS, which holds its own majority in parliament, instead assembled in a different room and passed the 2017 state budget. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Polish Secretary Of State Says Image Of A ‘Broken State’ Is ‘Rubbish’)
Interior Minister Mariusz Blaszczak commented Saturday on what the government considers a coup attempt from the opposition.
“In my opinion, yesterday’s events were an illegal attempt to seize power,” Blaszczak said, according to The Telegraph.
Szydlo and Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the head of PiS, had to be evacuated as police used force to break up protests outside the building. Riots continued in several cities around the country Saturday with protesters shouting “Stop the devastation of Poland.”
European Council President Donald Tusk — who is the co-founder and former leader of the largest opposition party, the Civic Platform — urged the government to “respect and regard the people, constitutional principles and morals.”
PiS surprisingly managed to win the majority in the senate and parliament last October, after already clinching the presidential election earlier in 2015.
The European Parliament called PiS a “threat to democracy” after changing the number of judges required to make rulings in the Constitutional Tribunal.
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