Wed | Jan 23, 2019

Polish PM survives confidence vote

Published:Thursday | December 13, 2018 | 12:00 AM

WARSAW (AP):

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki's conservative government easily survived a confidence vote in parliament yesterday that the leader had unexpectedly asked for earlier in the day.

Morawiecki, with the ruling Law and Justice party, had said he wanted to reconfirm that his government has a mandate from lawmakers as it pushes through an agenda that mixes conservative social values with higher welfare spending to help the disadvantaged.

"I believe that our government is carrying out good reforms, that we serve Poland well, and we want to continue serving it," Morawiecki said in the Sejm, the lower house of parliament.

The move seemed primarily aimed at pre-empting a confidence vote on the government that the opposition had demanded. Even though the opposition lacks the votes to topple the government, triggering a confidence vote would have allowed opposition lawmakers to dominate a debate in which they could criticise the government.

Instead, Morawiecki got the most floor time and used it to hail what he views as successes of his party's three years in power, the last year with him as prime minister. He highlighted Poland's fast economic development, a raise in the minimum wage and low taxes for small businesses, among other achievements.

Still, political rivals accused the government of corruption and challenged it on many issues. One asked why Poland is importing coal from Russia, which is polluting and goes against the country's own aim of reducing energy dependence on Russia.