Polish lawmakers return to work as blockade continues

Polish lawmakers are returning to parliament after a holiday recess marked by an unprecedented political crisis — weeks of occupation of the parliament's plenary hall by opposition lawmakers angry over moves by the conservative ruling Law and Justice party.

Parliament was to open its session in the afternoon Wednesday with no compromise yet reached between the government and opposition.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the ruling party chairman and the country's de facto leader, has accused the opposition lawmakers of illegal behavior and attempting a "putsch" against the ruling authorities.

The occupation of parliament, underway since Dec. 16, is being carried out by Civic Platform and Modern. The two centrist parties are protesting government attempts to limit media access to parliament and a budget vote they deem illegal.