In 2015, the Polish Law and Justice Party, also known as PiS, won 235 of 460 seats in the Sejm (saym), the lower house of the Polish Parliament, and 61 of 100 seats in the Polish Senate, the first party since the fall of the Communist regime to win an outright majority in Parliament. Since taking power, the Law and Justice party has overturned civil service rules, sought to take over independent media, weakened civil liberty protections and curtailed the independence of the judiciary branch.
The PiS has also restricted access to abortion and blocked immigration due to fears of what Party Leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski called “epidemics” brought by immigrants. Despite widespread criticism from the European Union and others, the Party continues to consolidate its power in Poland.
Joining Eight O’Clock Buzz host Brian Standing by phone are Tony Levitas, Senior Fellow, at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University and David Toft, a local government environmental consultant who lives and works in Krakow.