Polish government faces cabinet shuffle, survives vote of no confidence
Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo in Sejm (lower house) in Warsaw, Poland, Dec 7, 2017. The Sejm will debate on the constructive vote of no confidence in government filed by the main opposition party, the Civic Platform (PO). EFE-EPA/Bartlomiej Zborowski POLAND OUT
Chief of the main opposition party, the Civic Platform (PO) Grzegorz Schetyna speaks during the parliamentary debate on the constructive vote of no confidence in government filed by the Civic Platform (PO) in Sejm (lower house) in Warsaw, Poland, Dec 7,2017. EFE-EPA/Bartlomiej Zborowski POLAND OUT
Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo (C) in Sejm (lower house) in Warsaw, Poland, Dec 7, 2017. EFE-. EPA/ Bartlomiej Zborowski POLAND OUT
First Vice-President of European Commission in charge of Better regulation, Inter-Institutional Relations, rule of Law and Charter of Fundamental Rights, Dutch Frans Timmermans at a press conference in Brussels, Belgium, Dec 7, 2017. The EU Commission announced the launch of a court procedure on migration against Poland and Hungary. EFE-EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET
Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo (C) in Sejm (lower house) in Warsaw, Poland, Dec 7,2017. The Sejm did not voted the constructive vote of no confidence in government filed by the main opposition party, the Civic Platform (PO). EFE-EPA/Bartlomiej Zborowski POLAND OUT
Warsaw, Dec 7 (efe-epa).- The executive committee of Poland's governing party convened on Thursday to ponder a possible cabinet reshuffle and was expected to announce a candidate to take over from the country’s prime minister.
The leadership of the ruling national-conservative Law and Justice party met to announce a candidate to succeed Beata Syzdlo, although there was also a possibility of a deeper overhauling of the Polish cabinet.
Law and Justice spokesperson, Beata Mazurek, said there was “a proposal” designed to replace Szydlo with the current deputy prime minister and minister of finance and development, Mateusz Morawiecki, although she warned that a “final decision” had yet to be taken.
Morawiecki became a cabinet minister after the Law and Justice party won an absolute majority in the Oct. 2015 elections, although he did not become a fully-fledged party member until Mar. 2016.
Another figure often mentioned is the Law and Justice party top leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, although his age, 68, and fragile health may drive him to consider backing Morawiecki's candidacy.
In the meantime, the Polish parliament debated and voted on a no-confidence motion against the government presented by lawmakers from the leading conservative opposition force, Civic Platform, with 239 lawmakers voting against the motion, 168 voting in favor and 17 abstaining.
This formation considered the government had allowed a xenophobic demonstration in the streets of Warsaw on Nov. 11, on Poland's national independence day, which, according to them, justified the submission of the motion.
During the debate, Peace and Justice leaders accused the Civic Platform of lying and defaming the image of Poland in the European Union, which led European institutions to enter legal action against the Eastern European country.
Szydlo said the Civic Platform "wanted to destabilize our homeland" and lead the downfall of a cabinet that has "restored the Polish people's dignity and faith in their government."
Grzegorz Schetyna, the leader of the Civic Platform, assured that the Law and Justice cabinet would "not remain unpunished" for its "continued violation of the law."
After the vote, Szydlo was handed a bouquet of flowers from her party’s leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, before going to a meeting with President Andrzej Duda.