Poland’s new government sworn in

Europe
Tue, 28 Nov 2023 7:47 GMT
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s government unlikely to win vote of confidence in parliament.
Poland’s new government sworn in

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki's government was sworn in on Monday at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw.

Morawiecki has two weeks before his government faces a vote of confidence in the Sejm, or lower house of parliament.

He said over the weekend, however, that he gives himself only a 10% chance of winning it.

Most of the ministers in the outgoing Law and Justice (PiS) government have not received a proposal from Morawiecki to enter the new government with the exception of Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak. In their place are people previously unconnected with politics or from the second or third ranks of PiS.

PiS has 194 votes in the Sejm but no coalition partner to give it a majority.

In contrast, an alliance of the Civic Coalition (KO), the Third Way -- a coalition of the Polish People’s Party (PSL) and the Poland 2050 party -- and the New Left party has a majority with 248 votes and has said it intends to form a government headed by former Prime Minister Donald Tusk. To win a majority, PiS would have to attract 37 opposition members of parliament (MPs).

PiS came first in the Oct. 15 election but fell short of a majority. President Andrzej Duda, a PiS ally, gave him first shot at building a new government.

Opposition MPs said they had received letters to join coalition talks, but Morawiecki's appeal has gained no support.

Representatives of the three opposition groups meanwhile signed a coalition agreement. The co-chairman of the New Left party, Wlodzimierz Czarzasty, said the agreement includes 24 points.

Meanwhile, the president will stay in office until 2025 and the opposition does not have two thirds of the seats in the Sejm to overcome Duda’s veto.

If the parliamentary elections were held next Sunday, PiS would win again, according to a survey conducted by the Pollster Research Institute for the newspaper Super Express.

Meanwhile, the new Speaker of the lower house -- Szymon Hołownia -- announced his intention to cancel commissions set up in the outgoing government, improve relations with the press, and generally make Polish politics less dour and confrontational than under the outgoing government of PiS.

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