Polish minister accuses opposition of attempt to seize power
Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Blaszczak accused opposition parties on Saturday of trying to seize power illegally, while lawmakers occupied parliament's plenary hall for a second day in the country's biggest political standoff in years, according to Reuters.
"In my opinion, yesterday's events were an illegal attempt to seize power," Blaszczak told RMF FM private radio, Reuters reports.
"It was an attempt of another 'Night Shift' [the events overnight June 5, 1992 when the government of Jan Olszewski was overthrown]. Just as in 1992 there was an attempt to seize power -- a successful one -- by those who could not accept the election outcome, I perceive yesterday's events as an attempt of unlawful seizure of power," said the minister.
As reported earlier, in the early hours of Saturday, police had forcefully broken up a blockade of exits from the legislature's building in central Warsaw, set up by protesters who said ruling party lawmakers had violated the constitution by illegally passing the 2017 budget law on Friday.
The crisis started on Friday when opposition lawmakers protested against plans by the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party to curb media access to the parliament, by blocking access to the plenary hall podium ahead of the budget vote.
The budget passed with voting taking place in a nearby hall, escalating the conflict between the opposition and PiS, which within a year of assuming power extended its authority by tightening control over public media and weakening the country's highest court.