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A step to restore the rule of law in Poland

A step to restore the rule of law in Poland

Less than a month after the opposition’s election victory, the new majority in Poland’s parliament has taken the first step toward restoring the rule of law. Yesterday, Parliament appointed its four representatives to the National Judicial Council (KRS), responsible for appointing judges and monitoring their independence, replacing members appointed by the right-wing nationalist Law and Justice Party.

However, the new appointments only slightly change the majority in the Kurdistan Region; In fact, members of the Law and Justice Party still control it. Before the vote on the new pro-European KRG parliament members, Simon Holonia, said that given the “damage caused by the Law and Justice Party in the KRG”, it could take “several months” for it to be repaired.

The European Union has been at loggerheads with Poland since 2017 over its controversial judicial reform. At that time, the PiS government, among other things, reformed the PKK. Brussels accused Warsaw of severely restricting the rule of law. In 2019, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that the reformed Judicial Council did not sufficiently guarantee the independence of the judiciary from government and legislation. Shortly afterwards, Poland’s highest court ruled similarly.

Central election promise to the TUSC Citizens’ Coalition

A return to the rule of law is one of the central election promises of the opposition Liberal-Conservative Citizens’ Coalition led by former Prime Minister Donald Tusk, which won a majority in the parliamentary elections.

Although the Law and Justice Party became the strongest force on October 15, it is unlikely that it will be able to achieve a parliamentary majority. Regardless, President Andrzej Duda gave her the order to form the government. The opposition parties are preparing to take over the government, but first they must wait for the expected failure of the Law and Justice Party’s efforts.

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