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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » December 21, 2012
Politics & Society
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In Brief
December 21, 2012   
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New PSL Leader Enters Government
Janusz Piechociński, the new leader of the Polish People’s Party (PSL), the junior partner in the coalition government, was Dec. 5 formally appointed deputy prime minister and economy minister. Piechociński replaces long-serving PSL chief Waldemar Pawlak in the government posts, after unexpectedly defeating the latter in a Nov. 17 vote by a party convention to choose a new leader.

President Bronisław Komorowski, who appointed Piechociński to the government jobs, said he was happy with his statement that the recent change of leader by the PSL did not threaten the stability of either the ruling coalition or the government. Komorowski also said that the government and the new economy minister face serious challenges amid the crisis raging in Europe and worldwide. Komorowski said that so far the government has been successful in its efforts to defend Poland against the global economic crisis.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk described Piechociński’s appointment as a confirmation of the coalition’s stability.

“It is a very important day for the coalition, which has played an important political role in Poland in the last five years,” Tusk said as Piechociński was officially appointed.

Piechociński thanked all those who had helped him in his political career. “I would like you to be able to say a year from now that this appointment was a good decision because it strengthened the coalition and Polish politics,” he said. “I promise my colleagues in the government, and the prime minister that I will be very dedicated in my work.”

PSL ministers Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz and Stanisław Kalemba continue in their posts as labor minister and agriculture minister respectively.


Eurodeputy Quits SLD
European Parliament deputy Marek Siwiec has unexpectedly quit the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) party of which he was a member for more than two decades.

When asked about the reasons for his decision, announced Dec. 7, Siwiec said the SLD “is pursuing a policy that does not promise an election victory. This is harmful to both people and politics. The party has been unable to work with partners including the Palikot Movement, and this has to change. Nor do I see the will or capability to cooperate with [former Polish president] Aleksander Kwa¶niewski.”

SLD press spokesman Dariusz Joński said Siwiec’s decision came as a “big surprise” to the party.

Siwiec was a member of the SLD since the party was established in the early 1990s. Earlier, he was a member of the Polish United Workers’ Party (PZPR), the communist party which governed Poland at the time.

Siwiec was a senior aide to Aleksander Kwa¶niewski when the latter was president from 1995 to 2005. In 1997, he took over as head of the president’s National Security Bureau (BBN).

He was elected to the European Parliament in 2004 and then reelected in 2009.
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