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Polish president, ruling party chief in talks over legal changes

PR dla Zagranicy
Grzegorz Siwicki 09.09.2017 11:00
Poland’s president and ruling party leader have held a closely-watched high-level meeting to discuss planned changes to the country’s justice system.
Law and Justice leader Jarosław Kaczyński (centre) leaves Belweder Palace after meeting President Andrzej Duda. Photo: PAP/Tomasz Gzell Law and Justice leader Jarosław Kaczyński (centre) leaves Belweder Palace after meeting President Andrzej Duda. Photo: PAP/Tomasz Gzell

During the two-and-a-half-hour meeting at Warsaw’s Belweder Palace on Friday evening, President Andrzej Duda voiced his support for “a real reform” of the judiciary, the president’s spokesman told reporters after the talks.

The president also said he hoped his proposals for reorganising the country’s Supreme Court and the National Council of the Judiciary would be supported by lawmakers, the spokesman, Krzysztof Łapiński added.

Duda’s talk with Jarosław Kaczyński, the head of Poland’s ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, was “a good conversation that was held in a good atmosphere,” Łapiński said. He added that the two politicians had also talked about other issues “important for Poland."

Duda “offered assurances” that the judicial proposals he had undertaken to draft would be fully “in line with the constitution” and “free from the flaws that the president previously identified in his vetoes," Łapiński told reporters.

In July, Duda vetoed two of three controversial government-backed bills to give elected officials significant powers to appoint - and dismiss - court judges.

He announced he would draw up his own alternatives to the two vetoed bills within two months.

The leader of Poland’s ruling conservatives said at the time that the president’s decision to veto two of the judicial reform bills was a "serious mistake.”

The president’s proposals will be ready by 24 September, according to Łapiński.

'Very good atmosphere'

The Law and Justice party’s spokeswoman, Beata Mazurek, said that the Duda-Kaczyński meeting focused on the president’s proposals for judicial changes and took place “in a very good atmosphere.”

The talks concerned “mapping out the way for the legislation to be enacted in order to reform the Polish judiciary," Mazurek told the PAP news agency.

Next week, Duda will invite parliamentary caucuses to talk about his proposals for legal changes, the President’s Office said on Friday. All parties represented in parliament have said they will take part in the talks.

On Monday, Duda is expected to meet Senate Speaker Stanisław Karczewski to discuss judicial reforms. (gs/pk)

Source: IAR, PAP

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