Poland's finance minister to replace Beata Szydło as prime minister

Doris Richards
December 8, 2017

The opposition will try to pass a non-confidence vote against Prime Minister Beata Szydlo on Thursday, which is expected to fail as the ruling party has enough votes in the lower chamber of parliament to block it.

Further changes to the government are due in January, the PAP said.

Despite the criticism from overseas, Szydlo's eurosceptic government, in power for two years, was one of the most popular in Poland since the 1989 collapse of communism, largely due to low unemployment, increases in public spending and a focus on traditional Catholic values in public life.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the powerful leader of Poland's ruling Law and Justice party congratulates Prime Minister Beata Szydlo after her government survived a vote in which the opposition was seeking to oust it, at the parliament buildingin Warsaw, Poland, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017.

Analysts say that although the talk of the government reshuffle has been going on for weeks, the replacement of Szydlo, a loyal party member who made few mistakes, is surprising.

The Law and Justice party said in a statement Thursday night that "many successes were achieved in key areas of Polish life" during Szydlo's tenure despite "the huge determined resistance by enemies of the ideas of the good change" both inside and outside Poland.

The phrase refers to the party's promotion of a form of patriotism that critics regard as nationalistic, along with other conservative social values and more welfare protections.

Senior politicians from the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party will meet in the afternoon in Warsaw to discuss a reshuffle of the government.

Asked if, halfway through the government's term in office, the ruling party chief, Jarosław Kaczyński, would replace Beata Szydło as prime minister, Terlecki said this "will transpire around noon".

She will be replaced by Finance Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, the governing Law and Justice Party said.

Mazurek said Szydlo resigned during the meeting, but the party leadership wants her to hold some other important government position, which she did not specify.

Since the eurosceptic PiS won power two years ago, Szydło has overseen sweeping changes to state institutions in Poland, which critics in the European Union and Washington say have subverted democracy and the rule of law.

Two bills are set for a final vote in parliament Friday that would give the government greater control of the judicial system.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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