Opposition party 'will not allow' parliamentary sitting
PR dla Zagranicy
The opposition Civic Platform (PO) party will not allow the governing Law and Justice (PiS) to hold a sitting on Wednesday, after the Senate voted through a controversial bill on the 2017 budget.
PO leader Grzegorz Schetyna. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka
Grzegorz Schetyna, the head of PO, the largest opposition party in parliament, told reporters that opposition MPs will continue to occupy the plenary hall as part of a sit-in protest being held since 16 December.
Schetyna did not attend two days of consultations between the major parliamentary parties on Monday and Tuesday, where the participants said that “no deal” had been reached to resolve the dispute over the budget bill.
The budget bill was in December voted through by the lower house in a ballot the opposition has called “illegal”. But members of the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party have insisted that there were no irregularities in the vote.
The first parliamentary sitting in 2017 was set to start at 12:00 on Wednesday, but was postponed until 7:00 pm, as high-ranking politicians tried to come to a last-minute deal to solve the parliamentary crisis.
The head of the opposition Nowoczesna party, Ryszard Petru, said deputies from his party would not block the rostrum during the sitting. Petru added that PiS’s actions to move ahead with the bill through the Senate was a sign of how the governing party deals with issues, and that Nowoczesna would “adopt new ways to protest”.
Addressing a press conference following the vote, PiS leader Jarosław Kaczyński said that the Senate had passed the budget bill, adding that this “was the most important development”.
He thanked senators for voting through the budget, and said that the parliamentary sitting in the lower house would start in “two or three hours”.
Meanwhile a group of protesters led by the anti-government KOD movement gathered outside the parliament building in Warsaw.