Polish President taps current PM to form new government

WARSAW, Nov 7: Polish President Andrzej Duda on Monday nominated incumbent Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki as head of the new government following the parliamentary elections held last month.

“After calm analysis and consultations, I have decided to entrust the mission of forming the government to Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki,” Duda said in a televised address.

“I decided to continue the good parliamentary tradition, whereby the winning party is the first to be given the opportunity to form a government,” he added.

The parliamentary elections held on Oct 15, which drew a record number of citizens to the polling stations, did not produce a party capable of forming a government independently.

The ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, which has been in power for two consecutive terms, secured the largest share of the votes, winning 194 seats, but not enough to govern independently in the 460-member Sejm, Poland’s lower house of parliament. The PiS has named Morawiecki as their choice to lead the new government.

The opposition groupings, including the Civic Coalition, the Third Way and the New Left, collectively obtained 248 seats. They have declared their readiness to form a coalition government under the leadership of Donald Tusk, former president of the European Council and former Polish prime minister.

In accordance with the Polish Constitution, the president appoints the prime minister, typically from the winning party. The prime minister then attempts to form a government at the next Sejm session, where they will seek a vote of confidence, which is obtained through a majority vote.

In the event that a vote of confidence is not obtained, the president, in accordance with the constitution, is obligated to entrust the task of forming a government to the second-winning party.

“If the mission of the Law and Justice representative does not succeed, the next step will be for the Sejm to select a candidate for prime minister, and I will promptly appoint them to the position. All constitutional principles and deadlines will be upheld,” Duda said.

The first session of the Sejm is scheduled for Nov 13.

In his speech, Duda also nominated Marek Sawicki, who has “the longest parliamentary experience and is known as a man of dialogue and cooperation,” as senior speaker of the new parliament.

The senior speaker presides over the first sessions of the new lower house of the Polish parliament after a general election until a new speaker is elected by the house.