Disturbance in parliament, two MPs ejected

Piotr Nowak/PAP

The Polish Sejm (lower house)'s debating chamber erupted into emotional scenes at the start of Tuesday's sitting after MPs of the Left (Lewicy) and Civic Coalition (KO) groupings demanded a change to the agenda and started to demonstrate. Two MPs were removed.

The two MPs removed from the chamber were Klaudia Jachira and Slawomir Nitras (KO).

The scenes erupted after Deputy Sejm Speaker Ryszard Terlecki commented on the masks worn by opposition MPs.

"I regret to say that in the hall among the deputies of the Left and the Civic Platform there are members who have masks with signs that resemble the symbols of the Hitler Youth and the SS," Terlecki said.

KO MP Malgorzata Tracz then ran up to the speaker's podium wearing a mask bearing a protest symbol - a red lightning strike - against a recent Constitutional Tribunal ruling on abortion. She drew attention to mass protests that have been ongoing in Poland over the ruling, describing it as "war" and blaming Deputy PM and ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski.

A formal motion was then presented by Left MP Joanna Scheuring-Wielgus to add a bill by the Left club liberalising access to abortion. She was accompanied at the podium by a group of female MPS holding cards reading "women decide" and "legal abortion." A similar group then surrounded Kaczynski, who was guarded by the Sejm's security officers.