Walesa, ex-leaders ask EU to defend Polish democracy

Ex-Polish President Lech Walesa and several other former leaders are asking the European Union to defend the rule of law in their country under a populist government that is overhauling the judiciary.

In a statement published Wednesday in the daily Gazeta Wyborcza, the former leaders said they fear that a new law regulating the Supreme Court that takes effect on July 3 will destroy the democratic system of checks and balances in Poland.

Their open letter to the European Commission says "there will be no democratic Poland without a state of law."

The signatories include former presidents Aleksander Kwasniewski and Bronislaw Komorowski as well as former prime ministers, foreign ministers and leading Solidarity activists.

Walesa was the leader of the anti-communist Solidarity movement 1980s and the first democratic-era president.