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Politics

Polish president takes oath with government that will last no more than 14 days

Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland signs the oath of office as he is sworn in as Prime Minister, ahead of a vote of confidence, at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, Poland on November 27, 2023. Photo by Slawomir Kaminski/Agencja Wyborcza.pl via REUTERS

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s president was sworn in Monday to form a government expected to last no more than 14 days, a tactical move that allows the conservative Law and Justice party to cling to power a little longer — and make more appointments. state agencies.

Following national elections in October, President Andrzej Duda swore in Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who has held the position since late 2017. According to the constitution, Morawiecki and his cabinet will have 14 days to face a vote of confidence in Parliament.

They are almost certain to lose the vote because Morawiecki has no coalition partners after his nationalist and conservative Law and Justice party lost its parliamentary majority and no other party wants to join his government.

Morawiecki says he is trying to find partners with whom to govern, but he himself estimates his chances at “10 percent, or even less.”

Other members of Morawiecki’s new cabinet were also sworn in. Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak remained, but most other ministries, including Foreign Affairs, Justice and Education, were filled with new people. Some political veterans probably didn’t want to be part of a government that was likely to fail.

LEARN MORE: New Polish parliament chooses president, but transition of power delayed by president

There were many women and young members in the new government, which Duda welcomed. He addressed them by telling them that he already knew most of them, not as ministers but “as experts, as people who have worked so far in the second line.” .

Critics of Morawiecki and Duda – who are politically aligned with law and justice – denounce the decision to appeal to a government with no apparent chance of gaining parliamentary support as a desperate act of political theater.

Some critics point out that the incumbent party is using this time to make more appointments, which will allow it to expand its influence over state bodies, even after giving up the reins of government. In recent days, he has appointed loyalists to head the state watchdog and financial supervisory authority.

After eight years in power, the Law and Justice party won the largest number of votes in the elections, but lost its parliamentary majority, obtaining only 194 seats out of the 460 seats in the lower house of Parliament, the Sejm.

Power has already passed to a bloc of pro-European Union parties that ran in three separate votes but have promised to work together. Together they obtained a parliamentary majority of 248 seats and are already directing the work of Parliament.

Their candidate for prime minister is Donald Tusk, who previously held the position from 2007 to 2014 before becoming a top EU leader, President of the European Council, a position he held for five years.

He is set to become prime minister again after Morawiecki’s term ends in December.

LEFT:
Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland signs the oath of office as he is sworn in as Prime Minister, ahead of a vote of confidence, at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, Poland on November 27, 2023. Photo by Slawomir Kaminski/Agencja Wyborcza.pl via REUTERS

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