Ruling party to discuss cabinet reshuffle after signing coalition deal

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TVN24 News in English, PAP, Reuters
Leaders of the ruling coalition sign new agreementTVN24
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TVN24Leaders of the ruling coalition sign new agreement

The leadership of the Law and Justice party is to meet on Monday afternoon to discuss details of the cabinet reshuffle. According to Polish Press Agency (PAP), at Monday's meeting the final composition of the government is to be established. On Saturday, the leaders of PiS, United Poland and Accord signed a new coalition agreement after weeks of infighting.

On Monday afternoon at PiS headquarters in Warsaw, the party leadership is to meet and discuss the timeline of cabinet reshuffle, as well as further steps the ruling alliance would take after signing a coalition agreement on Saturday.

According to PAP, the meeting is to commence at 5pm. A source close to the government has told the agency that the final composition of the new cabinet was to be established, and that "the reshuffle is likely to take place in the coming week".

Deputy Prime Minister Jacek Sasin told catholic broadcaster Radio Maryja on Saturday that the current 20 ministries would be reduced to 14, which would mean fewer representatives of junior coalition parties in the cabinet.

Agreement finally reached

Poland's ruling alliance signed a new coalition agreement on Saturday, ending weeks of in-fighting in the three-party alliance over how it will govern over the next three years.

The leaders of the Law and Justice (PiS) party and the smaller conservative United Poland and Accord groups signed the deal at PiS headquarters in Warsaw on Saturday but gave no details on how the coalition will work in practice.

"I am absolutely sure that these years will be beneficial for Poland. This agreement guarantees that," Jarosław Kaczyński, the head of PiS and Poland's de facto leader, told a news conference that was also attended by the leaders of his two smaller allies and by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

Following short statements, the leaders signed the agreement and left.

Kaczyński to step in?

The three parties already form the government. But the coalition had been split by internal fights over LGBT issues, animal rights and relations with the European Union. PiS leaders had threatened a minority government and early elections.

The coalition led by PiS has won a series of elections since 2015, but the party has been under pressure because of economic difficulties exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Saturday's agreement is likely to ensure the coalition maintains its majority in the lower house of parliament, allowing it to increase control over the media and to continue with reforms to the judiciary, seen by the opposition as undermining the independence of the courts.

Last week, Polish media reported that the deal means that Kaczyński will become a deputy prime minister and oversee the Ministries of Justice, Internal Affairs and Defence.

If confirmed, the appointment of Kaczyński would be seen as an effort to rein in Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro, who heads United Poland and wants Warsaw to take a more combative stance on issues such as women's and gay rights and judicial reform. 

Autor:gf

Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP, Reuters