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Polish President Seeks to End Standoff Over New Press Rules

  • VOA News

Demonstrators hold banners "Free Parliamnent, Free Media, Free Poles" during a protest in Gdansk, Poland, Dec. 17, 2016.

Polish President Andrzej Duda sat down with opposition party leaders Sunday to try to resolve a political crisis that has brought thousands of people into the streets and led to a sitdown strike in parliament.

Opposition legislators seized the parliament's main chamber Friday to protest new measures restricting the ability of news media to cover the lawmakers. Anti-government protests in support of the legislators were continuing for a third day.

Protesters attend an anti-government demonstration, in Warsaw, Poland, Dec. 17, 2016.
Protesters attend an anti-government demonstration, in Warsaw, Poland, Dec. 17, 2016.

Under the measures, no more than two journalists from each news organization would be permitted into the parliament press gallery at one time. Reporters would also be barred from shooting video or taking photos.

The government says the steps are needed to ensure a comfortable working environment, but critics say they will make it harder for the media to serve as a check on official misconduct.

Polish opposition parliamentarians protest against the rules proposed by the head office of the lower house of parliament that would ban all recording of parliamentary sessions except by five selected television stations.
Polish opposition parliamentarians protest against the rules proposed by the head office of the lower house of parliament that would ban all recording of parliamentary sessions except by five selected television stations.

President Duda was quoted on Saturday saying he believes some kind of deal is necessary so parliament can continue to do its work.

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