Polish finance chief Morawiecki to be the new prime minister

Remigio Civitarese
Dicembre 8, 2017

Asked about a long-expected Cabinet reshuffle, Ryszard Terlecki, deputy Speaker of the Sejm and head of the parliamentary caucus of Poland's ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, told reporters that the name of the new head of government would "certainly" be made public later in the day.

Two bills are set for a final vote in parliament Friday that would give the government greater control of the judicial system. Szydlo, however, is at the center of speculation that she and some of her ministers will be replaced in a government reshuffle in the near future.

"We want to redirect a little the course of our activities", Terlecki said. He said more changes in the government can be expected in January.

The ruling party's spokeswoman Beata Mazurek has said that "it is not a secret that a proposal has appeared" for Deputy Prime Minister and Finance and Development Minister Mateusz Morawiecki to replace Szydło as prime minister, but she said the definitive decision on the matter "has yet to be made".

The conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party swept to power in October 2015 in a landslide election victory, ending eight years of a government led by its archrival, the Civic Platform, now Poland's largest opposition grouping.

Poland's economy achieved significant growth during the past two years.

Some also see Morawiecki, a former global banker who speaks foreign languages, as a better placed than Szydlo to negotiate with European partners who believe democracy is eroding in Poland.

Still, Szydlo, a coal miner's daughter and the mother of a priest, has wide support among conservatives.

Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo has resigned, hours after surviving an opposition no-confidence motion.

A Polish government official says the country's lawmakers will hold a confirmation vote next week to appoint Finance Minister Mateusz Morawiecki as the new prime minister. The bills have been criticized by the European Union and others as an anti-democratic threat to Poland's rule of law.

Government critics saw the possible leadership change as mostly a smoke screen to divert attention from a Friday vote on laws that would give the ruling party significant power over the judicial system.

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