Right-wing coalition in power in Poland loses majority in parliament European Catholic Union Mateusz Morawiecki Polish Senate

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Poland’s ruling right-wing coalition on Friday lost its slim majority in parliament after three lawmakers left it amid criticism of the government’s decision to phase out coal as well as the country’s stimulus package in the event of pandemic.

But this decision should not bring down the government of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki – in which the Law and Justice party is the most powerful partner – because it can count on the support of certain small aligned or opposition parties in crucial votes. .

Law and Justice spokeswoman Anita Czerwinska said recent votes in parliament in which opposition motions against cabinet members were defeated showed the government had sufficient support from lawmakers.

“We don’t have a formal majority, but what really matters is how lawmakers vote,” Czerwinska said.

The coalition of the Law and Justice party and two junior partners now holds 229 of the 460 seats in the lower house of parliament. He came to power in 2015 and also won the 2019 election, on a social and conservative agenda. The government disagrees with the European Union in many areas and insists on the independence of its 27 members in decision-making.

Jan Grabiec, spokesman for the main opposition Civic Platform, said it was a “symbolic moment” when the government lost a stable majority it had held for six years.

“The government will encounter more and more problems trying to obtain a majority for its laws, especially if they violate constitutional standards or the principles of the rule of law,” Grabiec said.

Civic Platform lawmaker Cezary Tomczyk said the party would start preparing for early elections because “the erosion and fall of this power is unfolding before our eyes.”

Outgoing lawmakers Zbigniew Girzynski, MaÅ‚gorzata Janowska and Arkadiusz Czartoryski said they were frustrated with the government’s decision to phase out coal despite an election pledge not to do so. Coal, which has a large environmental footprint, accounts for around 65% of Poland’s energy.

Girzynski said the country’s post-pandemic economic stimulus package is piling all the financial burden on small businesses because state-owned companies would benefit.

“From what I know, this feeling of estrangement from ideals has gripped many people in the field of law and justice. We encourage them to join us, ”said Girzynski.

Until recently, the coalition, which is on a collision course with the European Union on a number of issues ranging from the rule of law and judicial independence to the climate agenda, has been able to push through all of its decisions by the lower house and gain the support of the Senate. its strength began to deteriorate recently amid a power struggle and criticism of its contempt for the EU which has weakened Poland’s international standing.

Opinion polls show that Law and Justice, led by Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, still enjoys the strongest support, mainly due to its generous bonuses to large families and retirees and its support for traditional national values. in this predominantly Catholic nation. But he wouldn’t win a majority in parliament if a snap election were held now, polls suggest.

In the 2019 elections, the coalition lost its majority in the Senate, where it holds 49 of the 100 seats in total. The next elections are scheduled for 2023.

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