01:27 GMT17 January 2021
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    The political split in Poland has gone beyond the bounds of democracy, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) Party, said on Wednesday.

    WARSAW (Sputnik) — His remarks came after the son of the late PiS legislator Anna Kurska said at her funeral that his mother had been on both sides of a political civil war that had been tearing the country apart for many years.

    "The split of Poland is a fact… A split is a normal thing in democratic countries but it should be confined by certain bounds. We have been beyond such bounds for a long time," Kaczynski was quoted as saying by the broadcaster TVN24.

    He voiced hope that the opposing sides would find common ground and settle disagreements in a "more civilized manner."

    In October 2015, the right-wing PiS defeated the Civic Platform party in a parliamentary election and returned to power after losing its majority in 2007. Since then, Poland has faced a barrage of criticism over a number of controversial laws. In January, Polish President Andrzej Duda signed a decree giving his government power to appoint the heads of public television and radio, triggering widespread opposition from EU leaders and freedom of the press advocates.

    In late December 2015, Duda enacted a reform stipulating that 13 out of the country's 15 constitutional tribunal judges must be present at the most important court cases instead of nine as had previously been the case. Polish opposition believes that the reform will enable the ruling Law and Justice party to influence the tribunal's decisions.


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