Polish ruling party leader terms judicial reform as internal affair

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-20 05:54:39|Editor: yan
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WARSAW, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Polish ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski said Wednesday the judiciary reform is an exclusively internal affair, and Poland is dealing with abuse and a political plot.

He made the remarks in response to criticism Wednesday of Poland's judiciary reform by Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans.

"I am convinced that among the heavy fighting and obstruction, and perhaps adventures (...) we can go through with this, we are prepared for this," the Polish leader said.

Timmermans, at a press conference following a Commission meeting, said "Recent measures taken by the Polish authorities in relation to the judicial system and the judges greatly amplify the threat to the Rule of Law."

The European Commission on Wednesday expressed "grave concern" for "the clear risks for the independence of the judiciary" in Poland, saying it will take legal action against Warsaw next week, in the wake of a series of judiciary bills being proposed.

The Polish Foreign Ministry also said that Timmermans' response to Poland's judiciary reforms was "unwarranted, unjust and premature." The reform process has only just begun.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry wrote that Poland was ready for a dialogue with the EC.

Under the Article 7 of the EU treaty, a sanction mechanism is to be triggered if a member state makes "a serious and persistent breach" of the rule of Law. The member state concerned faces suspension of certain rights, including subject voting rights in the council of the EU.

The Article 7 has so far not been used.

On July 12, the Polish parliament adopted two bills which opposition said would politicize the judiciary and further subordinate it to the executive -- namely to justice minister Zbigniew Ziobro.

The law on the Ordinary Courts Organization will allow Ziobro to exchange all common court presidents without specifying a reason.

The law on the National Council for the Judiciary gives the parliament, in which the ruling Law and Justice Party has a majority, the power to select the 15 judges-members in the National Council of the Judiciary.

The Polish government's judicial reform, creeping since late 2015 when the Law and Justice Party took power, has drawn criticism from the EU, which has sent Warsaw several warnings since then.