Poland's lawmakers approve divisive judicial body members

WARSAW, Poland - Poland's lawmakers have taken their first vote in a much-criticized new procedure to approve new members of a top judicial body.

The law changing the procedure for choosing members of the Supreme Council of the Judiciary, pushed through by the ruling right-wing party, shifts the power to choose its members from judicial to political circles. European Union leaders have criticized the change, saying it violates judicial independence.

The lower house of parliament voted 267 with two abstentions to approve 15 members of the council who have been proposed by the ruling party and its ally party. The opposition abstained in protest, but that only made the approval easier.

Since winning 2015 elections, the ruling Law and Justice party has been consolidating its power.


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