Warsaw, July 22 (IANS) Poland’s senate on Saturday approved the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party’s controversial Supreme Court reform bill, which has sparked protests in the country and warnings from the European Union (EU).
After more than 16 hours of debate, 55 senators voted in favour of the bill to 23 against and two abstentions, reports Efe news.
The bill forces the removal of all Supreme Court judges except those chosen by the justice minister and approved by the president.
Critics say the legislation would erode the independence of the courts and defy the principles of the EU.
During the vote, thousands of citizens demonstrated in front of the Senate and the Supreme Court in Warsaw, as well as in other cities of the country, calling on Polish President Andrzej Duda to refuse to ratify the bill and prevent it from entering into force.