Poland's lawmakers to choose special court's new judges amid rising constitutional row

Poland's parliament has convened to choose new judges for the constitutional court, a step that comes amid heated debate concerning Poland's constitutional order.

The vote Wednesday is to approve five new judges to the 15-member Constitutional Tribunal who have been proposed by the ruling conservative Law and Justice party, which took power last month. They are to replace judges appointed in October by then-ruling Civic Platform.

The issue is a topic of heated debate between Law and Justice, which says the October appointments were made in violation of the law, and Civic Platform, which insists the new appointments will be a threat to democracy and to the constitution.

Adding to the confusion, the tribunal will rule Thursday on the validity of the October appointments.