LATEST NEWS
 Top Stories
 U.S.
  Severe Weather
  Bird Flu
 World
  Castro
  Mideast Crisis
  Iraq
 Business
 Personal Finance
 Technology
 Sports
  Sports Columns
  NASCAR
  Baseball
  College Hoops
  NBA
  NHL
  Tennis
  Golf
 Entertainment
 Health
 Science
 Politics
 Washington
 Offbeat
 Podcasts
 Blogs
 Weather
 Raw News
 NEWS SEARCH
 
 Archive Search
 SPECIAL SECTIONS
 Multimedia Gallery
 AP Video Network
 Today
 in History
 Corrections
Dec 15, 3:48 PM EST

The Latest: Poland's senators defy EU, approve judicial laws

AP Photo
AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski

Multimedia
Polish town opposes missile defense
Poland spa gets rejuvenated
Warsaw Ghetto uprising commander looks back
Drawers draw crowds at Poland underwear exhibit
Mixed Feelings About Red Baron Memorial in Poland
Latest News
Poland's senators defy EU warnings, approve judicial laws

The Latest: Poland's senators defy EU, approve judicial laws

Official says EU likely to give Poland unprecedented warning

Polish official says Putin responsible for 2010 plane crash

Poland's new PM marks anniversary of 1981 martial law

WARSAW, Poland (AP) -- The Latest on the Polish government's changes to the judicial system: (all times local):

9:35 p.m.

Poland's senators have overwhelmingly approved legislation that gives the ruling party control over a top court and a key judicial body despite warnings from European Union leaders that the country could eventually be stripped of its EU voting rights.

The overwhelming support the senators gave Friday to changes to regulations for the Supreme Court and the National Council of the Judiciary bring Poland a step closer to an EU procedure that could potentially result in the unprecedented action.

EU officials could trigger the procedure on Wednesday, when they will be reviewing the new legislation to see if it is in line with European standards of the rule of law.

The regulations still need the president's approval to become law, but that is expected to be granted.

---

3:00 p.m.

Poland's lawmakers have approved much-criticized new rules for local elections that opponents say undermine the independence of the electoral bodies.

The lower house of parliament voted late Thursday to approve the ruling party's changes to the electoral law and to the State Electoral Commission, ahead of local elections next year.

Opposition lawmakers say the fairness of elections will now be questionable under the new rules.

The head of the electoral commission, Wojciech Hermelinski, said Friday he will seek a meeting with President Andrzej Duda to share his skepticism.

Under the new rules lawmakers are to choose seven out of nine commission members and the interior minister is to appoint election supervisors.

The bill needs Senate and presidential approval.

© 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.