Opposition groups reject PM’s invitation to coalition talks with ruling party

Three opposition groups that were invited by the prime minister for talks on forming a new government with the ruling party – which lost its parliamentary majority at last month’s elections – have announced they will not attend.

The development increases the likelihood that the prime minister will fail to win a vote of confidence in his proposed cabinet, which would then lead to an opposition coalition coming to power, as has been expected since the 15 October elections.

Dziękuję, nie skorzystam. pic.twitter.com/1YNEjfy7on

— Robert Biedroń (@RobertBiedron) November 22, 2023

Despite the national-conservative Law and Justice (PiS), which has ruled Poland since 2015, losing its majority in the Sejm, the more powerful lower house of parliament, it remains the largest single party. Therefore, in keeping with tradition, President Andrzej Duda gave it the first opportunity to form a government.

However, all other parties had previously ruled out working with PiS, so its prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, was always seen as having little chance of success.

Nevertheless, he last week appealed to three opposition groups – the centre-right Third Way (Trzecia Droga), The Left (Lewica) and far-right Confederation (Konfederacja) – to join PiS in a “non-partisan government of balance” with a programme made up of “the most valuable elements” of each of their agendas.

The PM has appealed to opposition groups to join him in a new „cross-party, non-partisan government” after his ruling PiS party lost its parliamentary majority.

He proposed a programme containing „the most valuable elements” from each group’s ideas https://t.co/I5lS7U06oM

— Notes from Poland 🇵🇱 (@notesfrompoland) November 17, 2023

This week, Morawiecki sent formal invitations to the groups to attend talks at his chancellery on Thursday and Friday. However, leading figures from all three have publicly declared they will not attend.

“On behalf of The Left, I would like to inform you that we are not going anywhere,” tweeted the head of the group’s parliamentary caucus, Krzysztof Gawkowski. “Thanks, but no thanks,” added one of the group’s leaders, Robert Biedroń.

Mirosław Suchoń, head of Third Way’s parliamentary caucus, told the Polish Press Agency (PAP) that they had received Morawiecki’s invitation and would be responding to inform him that “we are not going to this meeting”.

He noted that his group has already signed a coalition agreement with The Left and the centrist Civic Coalition (KO), the largest opposition group, to form a new government and would be proceeding with those plans.

The opposition groups likely to form the next government have signed a coalition agreement

They pledged to:
– restore rule of law
– annul the near-total abortion ban
– depoliticise public media
– prosecute anti-LGBT hate speech
– separate church and state https://t.co/lwQvGGok8s

— Notes from Poland 🇵🇱 (@notesfrompoland) November 10, 2023

Meanwhile, Sławomir Mentzen, one of the leaders of Confederation, tweeted this morning that he “certainly won’t go” to the meeting with Morawiecki, whom he described as “a completely unreliable man”.

“I have nothing to talk about with Mateusz Morawiecki,” said Mentzen. “I said throughout the campaign that I was going to the elections to end PiS’s rule, not to extend it, so what should I talk about?”

Morawiecki has pledged to name a proposed cabinet by the end of this week, which then must be appointed by President Duda no later than 27 November. They then have two weeks to present a programme, which is put to a vote of confidence in the Sejm.

If they win that vote, the new government is established. But if, as appears almost certain, they fail to obtain a majority, then the Sejm nominates its own candidate for prime minister. That is likely to be Donald Tusk, leader of KO.

We answer 12 questions about Poland’s new government, including:

1. How will it be formed?
2. Will it be stable?
3. How will it tackle rule of law and abortion?
4. Can it unlock EU funds?
5. Will it face presidential vetoes?

Read our full analysis here⬇️https://t.co/oLK33waftV

— Notes from Poland 🇵🇱 (@notesfrompoland) October 23, 2023

Notes from Poland is run by a small editorial team and published by an independent, non-profit foundation that is funded through donations from our readers. We cannot do what we do without your support.

Main image credit: Daniel Gnap/KPRM (under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 PL)

Daniel Tilles is editor-in-chief of Notes from Poland. He has written on Polish affairs for a wide range of publications, including Foreign PolicyPOLITICO EuropeEUobserver and Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.

Podobne wpisy

Dodaj komentarz

Twój adres e-mail nie zostanie opublikowany. Wymagane pola są oznaczone *