Polish PM survives ouster vote called by opposition

By on December 7, 2017


Poland's Prime Minister Beata Szydlo (pictured) and her conservative government easily survived a confidence vote in parliament on Thursday that was called by the opposition. (Shutterstock)
Poland’s Prime Minister Beata Szydlo (pictured) and her conservative government easily survived a confidence vote in parliament on Thursday that was called by the opposition. (Shutterstock)

WARSAW, Poland—Poland’s Prime Minister Beata Szydlo and her conservative government easily survived a confidence vote in parliament on Thursday that was called by the opposition.

But the fate of Szydlo herself hung in the balance as Poland’s top political leaders considered a government reshuffle that could see her replaced with the finance minister, Mateusz Morawiecki.

Lawmakers voted 239-168, with 17 abstentions, to defeat a motion to topple Szydlo’s government which had been called by the opposition party Civic Platform. The centrist party accuses the current leadership of harming Poland with new laws that it says are anti-democratic and distancing the country from the European Union.

The outcome of that vote was never in question given that Law and Justice, led by Jaroslaw Kaczynski, has a majority in parliament.

Earlier Thursday, President Andrzej Duda met with Szydlo and Kaczynski to discuss plans for a government reshuffle. Party leaders were scheduled to hold another meeting over the government’s future Thursday evening.

Though Szydlo’s government is riding high in opinion polls, Kaczynski is thought to be advocating a change. Some see Morawiecki, a former international banker who speaks foreign languages, as a better choice than Szydlo as Poland’s tensions with the EU rise.

Before the meeting with the president, Szydlo addressed lawmakers and said her government represented the interests of ordinary Poles well.

Commentators noted the speculation about the government’s future was taking attention away from criticism of bills that the ruling party plans to pass Friday that would give it control over the judicial system.