20:10 May. 18, 2016
Polish opposition rejects the initiative
Head of the ruling Law and Justice party Jarosław Kaczyński has said it is prepared to reach a compromise regarding the deadlock at Poland's Constitutional Tribunal but only if done within the framework of changing the constitution.
Kaczyński made his case following talks in parliament involving himself, chairman of the Polish People's Party Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz and representatives of KORWiN (the latter has no seats in parliament). The three largest opposition parties – Civic Platform, Kukiz 15 and Nowoczesna – were not represented, and they are having separate talks on Wednesday including two parties outside parliament: the Democratic Left Alliance and the Together Party.
The Constitutional Tribunal rejected a raft of reforms on March 9th. The measures, which were voted through parliament by the Law and Justice majority, changed how the court functioned. In April, Poland's Supreme Court adopted a resolution stating that the tribunal's rulings should be respected, even if not published by the prime minister (the latter factor makes the rulings binding).
Meanwhile, human rights watchdog the Venice Commission has urged the government to publish the rulings of the Constitutional Tribunal. Kaczyński said on Tuesday that publishing the March 9th ruling would amount to "capitulation", and that government will not do it.
Law and Justice's reforms voted through parliament in December changed the order in which cases are heard, and insisted on a two-thirds majority in reaching verdicts rather than a simple one, among other factors. Opposition MPs claim that Law and Justice is trying to prevent the court from interfering with new bills passed in parliament.
Kaczyński said on Tuesday that the question of the two-thirds majority is open to compromise if his party is allowed to forge ahead with changing the constitution. However, both Civic Platform and Nowoczesna have already opposed changing Poland's constitution, after Kaczyński declared such an aim on May 2nd.