Polish President Andrzej Duda announced on Monday evening that he would task the Law and Justice (PiS) party’s PM candidate, Mateusz Morawiecki, with forming the government. Morawiecki is the current Prime Minister of the PiS-led coalition. PiS won the most votes in the parliamentary elections on 15 October.
The President recalled that during his consultations with the leaders of the parties that made it into the parliament, both PiS and the Civic Coalition (KO), which finished second and is now in the opposition, expressed their belief that they could obtain a parliamentary majority.
Duda justified his decision to entrust Morawiecki with forming the government by stating that
he is following the good parliamentary tradition, which gives the winning party the first opportunity to do so.
He also mentioned that in accordance with the constitution, if the first attempt at forming a government fails, a second round will involve an absolute majority vote in the lower house of the parliament.
PiS holds 194 seats in the 460-member lower house, while the opposition bloc, composed of KO, the Polish Peasants’ Party (PSL), Poland 2050 party, and the New Left Alliance, collectively has 248 seats. These four parties reached an agreement on parliamentary cooperation and creating a parliamentary majority at the end of October.
Donald Tusk, the leader of KO and of the Civic Platform (PO) party, announced on Monday evening that his party would be ready to sign a coalition agreement with the other opposition parties by Friday, and the signing ceremony could take place on Sunday.
Andrzej Duda confirmed in his Monday speech that he would convene the inaugural session of the parliament on 13 November, to be led in the Sejm by Marek Sawicki, the co-leader of the opposition PSL. The Sejm and the upper house of the parliament, the Senate, will each hold their separate inaugural sessions.
According to the Polish constitution, at the new parliament’s session, the outgoing cabinet resigns, but the remains in office until it the new one is formally inaugurated. Within 14 days after the parliamentary session, the President will officially entrust Morawiecki with forming the government. The new cabinet and its programme will have to be presented to the Sejm within two weeks of this appointment, and the lower house will vote on a motion of confidence. An absolute majority and the presence of at least half of all representatives are required for the government’s acceptance.
Hungarian Conservative reported on 16 November that according to the exit polls, PiS had won the Polish elections, but it was uncertain whether the then ruling party would be able to form a viable government.