Polish ruling party leader Kaczynski leaves government

Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Law and Justice (PiS) party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski delivers his speech during the political convention of the Law and Justice (PiS) ruling party in Marki near Warsaw, Poland June 4, 2022. Slawomir Kaminski/Agencja Wyborcza.pl via REUTERS

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WARSAW, June 21 (Reuters) – Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party leader and deputy prime minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski has resigned from his position in government, PAP news agency said on Tuesday.

“I’m not in the government right now … I have already submitted a motion to the prime minister and it has been approved. As far as I know, the president has also signed it,” Kaczynski said, according to PAP.

Kaczynski, who was also the head of the government’s national security and defense affairs committee, said that he would be replaced by the Minister of National Defence, Mariusz Blaszczak.

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Kaczynski had earlier signaled that he wanted to resign from government functions in order to focus on the ruling party’s preparations for next year’s parliamentary elections.

“I decided that I need to concentrate on the things which are most important for the future of Poland. I am not overestimating my role, but … the party must regain vigor, because the most important time for any political party in the world is drawing closer,” he told PAP.

The nationalist PiS has been in power since late 2015, but Kaczynski only joined the government in October 2020. He was to work on a bill on national defence, but analysts said his presence in the government was also meant to rein in conflicts between members of the ruling coalition.

Kaczynski was earlier prime minister in 2006-2007. His twin brother Lech was president from 2005 to 2010, when he died in a plane crash in western Russia.

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Reporting by Pawel Florkiewicz and Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk; Editing by Michael Perry and Andrew Heavens

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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