WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s president was sworn in Monday for a government expected to last no more than 14 days, a tactical maneuver that allows the conservative Law and Justice party to cling to power a little longer — and make more appointments to state bodies.
After national elections in October, President Andrzej Duda was sworn in by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who has held the position since late 2017. According to the constitution, Morawiecki and his government will have 14 days to face a vote of confidence in parliament.
They will almost certainly lose the vote because Morawiecki has no coalition partners after the nationalist and conservative PiS lost its parliamentary majority and no other party wanted to join his government.
Morawiecki says he is trying to find partners to rule with, but he himself estimates his chances at “10% or even less.”
Other members of Morawiecki’s new government were also sworn in. Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak remained in office, but most other ministries, including the Foreign Affairs, Justice and Education Ministries, were filled with new appointees. It is possible that some seasoned politicians did not want to be part of a government that was expected to fail.
Read more: The new Polish parliament chooses a president, but the transfer of power is postponed by the president
There were many women and young members in the new government, which Duda praised. He addressed them by saying that he already knew most of them, not as ministers but “as experts, as people who have worked so far in the second row.”
Critics of Morawiecki and Duda – politically aligned with PiS – have denounced the decision to form a government that has no clear chance of winning parliamentary support as an act of desperate theater.
Some critics point out that the outgoing party is using the time to make more appointments, which will expand its influence over the state apparatus even after relinquishing the reins of government. In recent days, she nominated her loyalists to head the Government Accounting Authority and the Financial Supervision Authority.
After eight years in power, PiS won the largest number of votes in the elections but lost its parliamentary majority, winning only 194 seats out of 460 in the lower house of parliament.
Power is already shifting to a bloc of pro-EU parties that have contested three separate elections but have pledged to work together. Together they have a parliamentary majority of 248 seats and are already leading the work of Parliament.
Their candidate for prime minister is Donald Tusk, who actually held the position from 2007 to 2014 before becoming a senior EU leader and president of the European Council, a position he held for five years.
He is on track to take over as prime minister again after Morawiecki’s term ends in December.
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