Ex-banker Mateusz Morawiecki proposed as Poland's new PM

Ex-banker Mateusz Morawiecki proposed as Poland's new PM

Morawiecki, who has also been a deputy prime minister, will replace the largely popular Beata Szydlo, marking the midpoint of the parliamentary term and in what is the beginning of an expected broader government reshuffle.

Earlier in the day, the lower house of parliament rejected a vote of no confidence in the government, submitted by the opposition, and the visibly changed Szydlo was awarded with an enthusiastic round applause and flowers from her party.

Mazurek said Szydlo resigned during the meeting, but the party leadership wants her to hold some other important government position, which she did not specify. He said more changes in the government can be expected in January.

Finance Minister Mateusz Morawiecki to become new PM?

Deputy Culture Minister Jaroslaw Sellin said the vote will take place on Tuesday.

Some also see Morawiecki, a former global banker who speaks foreign languages, as a better placed than Szydlo to negotiate with European partners who believe democracy is eroding in Poland.

While the mass privatisation drive that drew strong foreign investment during the early days of Polish capitalism helped to revive a failed economy, Morawiecki argues that almost 30 years later, leaving key sectors in foreign hands means the profits leave Poland.

Ex-banker Mateusz Morawiecki proposed as Poland's new PM

The announcement was made late Thursday by Beata Mazurek, the Law and Justice party spokeswoman, following meetings at the party's headquarters in Warsaw.

The BBC's Adam Easton in Warsaw says there had been growing speculation that party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski wanted to replace Mrs Szydlo.

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

Government critics saw the leadership change as mostly a smoke screen to divert attention from a Friday vote on laws that would give the ruling party significant power over Poland's judicial system.

She is expected to stay on as a deputy prime minister in the PiS government, deputy foreign minister Jan Dziedziczak told the Polish PAP news agency.

Szydło added that she was keeping her fingers crossed for Morawiecki and for "other ministers responsible for the economy, for the entire government".

Government critics saw the possible leadership change as mostly a smoke screen to divert attention from a Friday vote on laws that would give the ruling party significant power over the judicial system.

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