MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Hundreds of anti-government protesters rallied on Wednesday near Poland's parliament in Warsaw in support of opposition after a controversial Senate vote on this year’s budget, local media reported.
The TVN24 news channel reported the protest was peaceful. Demonstrators waved EU flags, shouting "Sejm is ours" and "Protect democracy." Lawmakers are staying inside, hours after the first Sejm session of the year was set to open at noon.
Lawmakers from two opposition parties occupied the plenary chamber in the lower-house Sejm in mid-December in protest against the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party’s plan to limit journalists’ right to cover the parliament’s work.
PiS lawmakers, who have enough members for a constitutional quorum, moved to another part of the building to approve several bills, including a draft 2017 budget. The opposition called the vote illegal and demanded a rerun.
The Senate voted earlier on Wednesday to pass the bill, precluding a repeat vote on budget, despite a call by opposition deputy Sejm speaker Malgorzata Kidawa-Blonska to pause parliamentary proceedings to resolve the crisis.
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