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POLAND: State of the United Right
After a successful EP election, the Law and Justice party now faces a government reshuffle, as well as an assessment of its political assets. The election allowed the party to probe its electorate ahead of Autumn’s parliamentary vote and this will be reflected in the upcoming reshuffle. Commentators argue that the scope of this reshuffle will be extended to include certain government members who have not necessarily been elected to the EP.
PM Morawiecki – The success of PiS in the election is largely attributed to the Prime Minister. Morawiecki became the face of PiS’ election promises and managed to deliver them despite internal government frictions. Many commentators argue that as a result of this success, Morawiecki has reinforced his position until the Autumn election. Consequently he may have more sway in appointing ministers and he may seek to weaken other factions within PiS, however, this will largely remain at the discretion of the party’s leadership. Still, the remainder of the government’s term will largely focus on supporting campaign efforts rather than forwarding Morawiecki’s own policy.
Agreement – Jarosław Gowin’s Agreement party will remain a strong and valuable, however quiet member of PiS’ United Right alliance. It will capitalise on the strong position of its members within the government – Entrepreneurship Minister Jadwiga Emilewicz and Deputy PM Jarosław Gowin. Moreover, the success of Deputy Speaker of the Senate Adam Bielan who won a mandate in the EP will further contribute to the Agreement’s position. Ahead of the Autumn general election, Jarosław Gowin’s party and its pro-business postulates are likely to help PiS improve its standing amongst professionals that so far proved loyal to the Civic Platform.
Solidary Poland – Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro’s party has certainly benefited from the successful election of Patryk Jaki and Beata Kempa. Experts argue that this victory has resonated within the party and boosted morale. Although its position is unlikely to be depleted prior to the Autumn general election, it remains to be seen whether PiS party leadership will view Solidary Poland’s EP success as a catalyst for its parliamentary campaign. Still, the improving position of Mateusz Morawiecki will not work in favour of Zbigniew Ziobro who is known to be in conflict with the PM.
Centre Agreement (“Porozumienie Centrum” – the ‘old guard’ of the PiS party) – PiS leader Jarosław Kaczyński will certainly maintain the position of his closest confidants within the bloc. Although a government reshuffle may mean that the Centre Agreement loses its share of offices, it will remain an integral part of the party’s decision-making core. The ruling party previously proved that it is able to successfully shift its frontmen depending on the current political climate. Beata Szydło received a record high number of votes. Her success, together with that of her former cabinet members Minister Zalewska and Minister Rafalska will further reinforce PiS’ core, which will now have greater presence on the EU front.