WARSAW, Poland – Poland's president sees flaws in contentious legislation adopted by the Senate that gives politicians significant influence over the nation's Supreme Court, his spokesman said Saturday.
President Andrzej Duda's spokesman, Andrzej Lapinski, stopped short of saying whether the president would reject the bill or seek the opinion of a special court, the Constitutional Tribunal. The tribunal has already been put under the influence of the ruling conservative party. Duda has 21 days to sign it into law.
The legislation, approved by the Senate early Saturday, has drawn condemnation from European Union leaders and has led to major protests across Poland. The lower house approved it Thursday.
A new round of nationwide protests is expected Saturday across Poland that will urge Duda not to sign the legislation into law.
Proposed by the populist ruling Law and Justice party, the bill gives the justice minister and the president the power to appoint and assess Supreme Court judges. Critics say that will kill off judicial independence.
Lapinski said that Duda sees inconsistency between two articles regarding the appointment of the court's head. One article says the court's head needs to be chosen from among five candidates, while the other says that it needs to be from among three candidates.
Defying protests, the ruling party rushed the legislation through parliament in just 10 days. The speed of the procedure has also raised questions about the quality of the law.
A pro-democracy movement in Poland said that former President and democracy icon Lech Walesa will join a protest they are holding against the law in his hometown of Gdansk on the Baltic coast. Opponents say the legislation will destroy judicial independence and violate the rule of law.
Tens of thousands of people have been holding peaceful but noisy protests across the nation this week.
In addition to the Gdansk demonstration, another protest is expected outside the Presidential Palace in Warsaw on Saturday.