A cinema in the centre of Warsaw will be screening a live feed from parliament this week as events unfold that are almost certain to see the end of the eight-year rule of the Law and Justice (PiS) party and the arrival of a new coalition government made up of three opposition groups.
The event’s organiser, Michał Marszal, says that thousands of people have expressed interest in tickets – far more than they can accommodate – and that the Polish and international news teams will also be present at the screening.
At the time of writing, PiS’s Mateusz Morawiecki – who was nominated by President Andrzej Duda as prime minister after the 15 October elections – was due to begin presenting his government’s programme to the Sejm, the lower house of parliament at 10 a.m.
That will be followed by responses from each group in parliament before a vote of confidence in Morawiecki’s administration is held at 3 p.m. Because PiS no longer has a parliamentary majority after the elections – and all other parties have ruled out joining its government – it is almost certain to lose that vote.
Should it do so, the Sejm will put forward its own candidate for prime minister, which is almost certain to be Donald Tusk, who leads the coalition planning to take power. At 8 p.m. a vote will take place on his candidacy, which Tusk is almost certain to win.
On Tuesday morning, Tusk will then present his own proposed cabinet and programme to the Sejm, which will in the afternoon hold a vote of confidence in his government. Tusk is expected to win that, after which he and his ministers should be sworn in by Duda, possibly on Wednesday.
– 9am: Tusk presents cabinet and programme to Sejm
– 3pm: his government wins vote of confidence in Sejm
– Possible swearing-in of new government by President Duda (but the date and time of this remain uncertain)
— Daniel Tilles (@danieltilles1) December 10, 2023
Amid unprecedented interest in parliamentary events, Kinoteka – a cinema located in Warsaw’s famous Palace of Culture and Science – will be screening the events live. The tickets, which were offered free of charge, were all reserved within minutes of going online.
“The first room, about 250 seats, was filled up quickly,” the cinema’s Karolina Fornal told news website Wirtualna Polska. She said they were exploring the possibility of setting up additional screenings. The event’s Facebook page shows that tickets for today are sold out but remain available for Tuesday and Wednesday.
For those unable to watch on the big screen, events will be shown live on the Sejm’s YouTube channel.
Since the election of a new parliament – and the arrival of Szymon Hołownia, a television presenter-turned-politician, as speaker of the Sejm – that channel has seen record interest. It now has over 440,000 subscribers, around 400,000 more than before Hołownia became speaker.
READY, STEADY, GO!
— Donald Tusk (@donaldtusk) December 11, 2023
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Main image credit: Kancelaria Premiera/Flickr (under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Daniel Tilles is editor-in-chief of Notes from Poland. He has written on Polish affairs for a wide range of publications, including Foreign Policy, POLITICO Europe, EUobserver and Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.