Today, the new Polish government led by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki from the national conservative Law and Justice (PiS) was sworn in by President Andrzej Duda. However, this cabinet is expected to end in December, as it is unlikely to gain support in the Sejm, the lower house of parliament, where PiS is the strongest party, but lost its majority after the October elections.
Morawiecki, who has been Poland’s prime minister since December 2017, now has two weeks to present his cabinet’s policy statement in the Sejm and ask for a vote of confidence. It did not feature, for example, Zbigniew Ziobro, who, as Minister of Justice and Prosecutor General, was the face of the controversial judicial reforms of the last eight years, due to which Warsaw is in dispute with the European Commission.
Apart from Morawiecki and the current Minister of Defense, Mariusz Blaszczak, there are no prominent PiS representatives in the government. According to some commentators, prominent party officials did not want to tarnish their reputations by being part of a government that is destined for an early demise.
“It was a sad celebration. In particular, the fact that the existence of the government, which will last only two weeks and which cannot come to terms with the loss of power, was legitimized by the president’s behavior,” Anna Materská-Sosnowská, a political scientist from the University of Warsaw, told gazeta.pl. President Duda is a close ally of PiS, and the current opposition and many political scientists criticize him for holding back the apparently irreversible change at the helm of power.
More than half of the new cabinet are women. “This is a really nice gesture of PiS towards women, that only in the two-week government of hopelessness was there a place for their greater representation,” commented TVN24 journalist Konrad Piasecki ironically.
The new Minister of Culture, Dominika Chorosińská, who made a career as a serial actress in the past and who promoted fidelity as a wife, although she had a lover, arouses the amazement of the Polish media. At the first meeting of the newly elected Sejm, she shouted “You’ve got talent” at the chairman of this chamber, Szymon Holownia, alluding to the fact that in the past he was the moderator of the “I’ve got talent” competition.
In an interview with the Polish news agency PAP today, PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczyński admitted that he invented the form of government of experts and politicians. “Kaczyński invented it, Morawiecki will implement it. A human on a remote control will always work on a remote control. It’s a shame for the position of prime minister,” Tomasz Trela, an MP from the opposition New Left, wrote on the X social network.
Given that the government will most likely not gain confidence due to the distribution of forces in the parliament, the opposition considers the entire post-election development to be an attempt by PiS to stay in power as long as possible and use this time, for example, to fill state institutions with its own people.
If Morawiecki’s government does not gain confidence in the Sejm, it is up to the deputies to nominate a candidate for prime minister. This is most likely Donald Tusk, the Polish Prime Minister from 2007 to 2014, who subsequently became the President of the European Council. He will lead a government made up of three pro-European parties: his Civic Coalition, the centrist Third Way and the New Left.