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Change of power after elections: Morawiecki asks a question of trust

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Change of power after elections: Morawiecki asks a question of trust

Epoch Times11. December 2023

Poland’s incumbent Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki wants to make a government statement today and ask a vote of confidence in his new cabinet in the afternoon. Since the national conservative PiS does not have a majority in parliament, Morawiecki’s cabinet is likely to fail the confidence vote.

This in turn clears the way for a change of power in Poland, which the PiS has long delayed. This evening, Parliament is expected to commission former EU Council President Donald Tusk to form a government.

In the parliamentary election on October 15, three pro-European parties from Tusk’s previous opposition won a clear majority of 248 of the 460 seats in the Sejm. A coalition agreement was signed weeks ago, and the distribution of departments has also been clarified. The PiS only received 194 seats and has no coalition partner.

Turnaround in Polish foreign policy

The upcoming change of government in Warsaw is also likely to bring about a change in Polish foreign policy. The PiS was in constant dispute with Brussels over judicial reform. The relationship with Berlin was also at a low point because of demands for world war reparations amounting to 1.3 trillion euros.

The three opposition parties stand for a pro-European course and a more conciliatory policy towards Germany. The 66-year-old Tusk was Poland’s head of government from 2007 to 2014.

However, President Andrzej Duda, who comes from the ranks of the PiS, delayed the change for a long time. Despite the majority in parliament, he commissioned Morawiecki to form a government and sworn in his cabinet at the end of November.

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The constitution stipulates that the head of government must submit a vote of confidence in parliament within 14 days of being sworn in. Morawiecki will now do this when this deadline expires today – a practically hopeless undertaking.

Only when Morawiecki has failed with the vote of confidence will it come to parliament. In the second step, it can now determine a government from its majority. The representatives of the three-party alliance are expected to award the task of forming a government to Tusk that evening – in the second round, the award will not be made by the president.

Hit Tusk

Tusk has announced that he will make a government statement on Tuesday morning and will ask for a vote of confidence in the afternoon. Since the three-party alliance has a solid majority, Tusk is expected to pass the vote.

Then it’s President Andrzej Duda’s turn again – he has to swear in the Tusk government. But here too it becomes clear that the president is doing everything possible to put obstacles in Tusk’s way.

Duda’s office said on Saturday that the president intended “no delay” and that the new government could therefore be sworn in on Wednesday morning. But this timing is also a blow to Tusk, as the date is historically loaded. On December 13, 1981, the then communist regime in Poland declared martial law – a black day in the country’s history. (dpa/red)

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