October 24, 2017
Is Kaczynski tired of ruling behind the scenes?
We don't usually do rumours but, if true, this is significant. The Polish press is abuzz with stories about an impending government reshuffle. The ultimate source for all this is an article in the Polish weekly Sieci Prawdy, summarised in wPolitice. But in Poland it's not the PM Beata Szydlo that's considered the real power, but the PiS leader Jaroslaw Kazynski who rules behind the scenes. So, when the Polish press talks about a reshuffle, it doesn't exclude that Szydlo will be one of the ousted ministers, to be replaced by Kaczynski himself. One possibility is for Szydlo to lead the PiS slate for the 2019 European parliament elections. The foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski is also widely expected to be replaced.
Ostensibly, Kazynski's move would end the visible infighting in the Polish cabinet. We suspect that the move may also have something to do with president Andrzej Duda's veto of the judicial reforms proposed by the government before the summer. Kazynski may feel he's better able than Szydlo to confront Duda.