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Polish PM Morawiecki loses confidence vote

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk December 11, 2023 7:18 PM 1 min read
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki during a campaign meeting of the Law and Justice party ahead of parliamentary elections in Otwock, Poland, on Sept. 19, 2023. (Andrzej Iwanczuk/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki lost a vote of confidence on Dec. 11, ending political wrangling in Poland's government that has followed the Oct. 15 parliamentary election.

The decision to remove Morawiecki represented an effective end to the eight years of power by the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS), and an opportunity for opposition leader and former Prime Minister Donald Tusk to form a new government.

PiS won the most seats in the election but failed to gain an outright majority, winning 194 seats in a 460-member parliament.

In Poland, the largest party is usually given the initial right to attempt to form a government.

Polish President Andrzej Duda officially appointed Morawiecki as the proposed head of the new government on Nov. 27. It was expected to be a short-lived tenure, as lawmakers predicted that Morawiecki would not survive a confidence vote.

Poland has been roundly supportive of Ukraine across the political spectrum, including from PiS, though tensions have risen in recent months following diplomatic spats relating to trade issues.

PiS has been criticized both within Poland and in the EU for drifting Poland towards an illiberal democracy, similar to Hungary, due to the undermining of judicial independence.

Tusk has promised to reverse this trend, and has also called for unwavering support for Ukraine, saying that a Ukrainian victory was in the Polish national interest.

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