Friday, July 07, 2006

Polish Prime Minister resigns

Nobody seems to knows why but it looks bad news for PiS. (photo: Marcinkiewicz with opposition leader, Donald Tusk – a new alliance?)

Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz has left the government. Either he resigned – as he says he has – or he was sacked, as the government appears to be claiming, Friday evening.

Watching the TV news now, the announcement – which government spokesmen made this evening – has clearly taken the government by surprise. In fact, I can say that this has caused havoc among the, possibly, ex- PM’s ex-party, the ruling Law and Juctice (PiS). No prepared press statements by either side, just a scrum of reporters chasing quotes.

The speculators are speculating on the news programs but we’ll know more facts tomorrow when the government will make a statement. But it seems likely that Jaroslaw Kaczynski, twin of President Lech, will take over as PM.

One rumor is that Marcinkiewicz has resigned to fight the mayor of Warsaw elections, which PiS do not have a decent candidate for.

The latest opinion polls show PiS in a two point lead with 29% over Civic Platform, so maybe they can afford a few changes?.

But this seems unbelievable. If that was the case then the news would have been stage managed, planned to get the best publicity. Breaking news on a Friday evening, when the media is winding down for the weekend, is rather unusual.

Others say that this has been on the cards for months.

Few had heard of Marcinkiewicz when he was given the post of Prime Minister after last fall's election. He was given the position because the opinion polls were clear that Poles did not like the prospect of having identical twins in both president and PM roles.

Well, it looks like they are going to get them now.

PiS have the problem that Marcinkiewicz was their most popular politician. With an approval rating of around 65%, Marcinkiewicz is the most popular politician in Poland by miles!

Jaroslaw Kaczynski and his brother Lech, have seen their ratings fall since the election quite dramatically.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski was also said to be a bit upset that Marcinkiewicz did not consult him before appointing Pawel Wojciechowski as finance minister after the resignation two weeks ago of Zyta Gilowska.

Marcinkiewicz was their best asset. But he always was a duck out of water in PiS. His economics are free market, while the Kaczynskis are more statist.

One thing is for sure: it seems everyone has been suprised that this has come now. Except, maybe, for Marcinkiewicz. And Tusk? Is it crisis management down at PiS headquarters this weekend?

Polish government starts process of self destruction as the prime minister resigns, Polish Outlook, July 8


Gustav said...

They do this while I'm on VACATION?? This is some of the best blogging material in months.

But typical PiS tactics, isn't it? They do what the people like for a little while, get themselves in the right position, and then switch everything around to the way they want it, the public good and the country be damned.

The Post is saying Wojciechowski, who swore up and down that he would follow the policies of Gilowska - whom the Kaczynskis loathed - is on his way out. My guess is Jasinski moves to Finance from Treasury, and we get all populists at the top.

A country run by the two ducks, Lepper, and Giertych - And the public clearly wanted a PiS-PO combo in the autumn. Poland really is getting scarier by the minute...

Eugene Markow said...

Marcinkiewicz was integral in the capacity of prime minister and he will be sincerely missed. His professionalism was clearly evident and the function he served often portrayed him as a neutral buffer (or rather 'filter') between PiS and everyone else. A similar replacement will be difficult to produce from the current ranks.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, if seriously offered the honor of being a replacement, hopefully will reject accepting this position to avoid blatant looking cronyism and nepotism. He should remain as president of PiS, and nothing beyond that. A prudent political strategy would be to appoint someone equally as competent (to Marcinkiewcz) from either PiS, or PO.

These ongoing events only reflect the constant change in European politics. It's par with the course.

beatroot said...

Wojciechowski was Marcinkiewicz's man...of course.

Poland is certainly getting a bit like Italy. This is why I favour the British voting system here. That would minimise the influence of the smaller, more nutty parties, nd bring some much needed stability here.

For Britain, on the other hand, I favour the Polish system to encourage small parties to get UK political culture out of its zombie like state.

Anonymous said...

What a great site » » »