Polish PM survives no-confidence vote but may still be replaced

Warsaw (AFP) –


The Polish parliament, which is controlled by the governing conservatives, on Thursday rejected a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, but reports swirl that she could still be replaced by the end of the day.

Ahead of the motion, Szydlo described it as "a pile of nonsense, lies and slander" before lawmakers voted 239-168, with 17 abstentions, to defeat the opposition bid to topple her government.

Szydlo left early to discuss an expected government reshuffle with President Andrzej Duda and PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the country's most powerful politician and the man believed to be calling all the shots.

Development and Finance Minister Mateusz Morawiecki is tipped by many as a possible successor to Szydlo, though PiS spokeswoman Beata Mazurek said Thursday that "no decision has yet been made".

Kaczynski himself is another name being tossed around, including by the leader of the liberal Civic Platform (PO), the main opposition party.

"If he wants to govern, be an uber-president and uber-premier, then he should take formal responsibility for it. That's what we expect," PO leader Grzegorz Schetyna said in parliament.