Poland's outgoing PM to stand down as party leader?
PR dla Zagranicy
The centrist Civic Platform party, which according to exit polls lost Sunday's general election, appears to be split as to whether outgoing prime minister Ewa Kopacz should remain as leader of the party.
Ewa Kopacz after the announcement of exit polls on Sunday night. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Tomasz Siemoniak appeared to vouch his support for Kopacz following the announcement of the exit polls on Sunday night.
“We should not be hasty in changing our [party] leaders,” Siemoniak said.
“Ewa Kopacz has great worth,” he added.
“She will be urged and supported to remain as the chairperson of Civic Platform,” he said.
However, Radosław Sikorski, former foreign minister (2007-2014), voiced a decidedly different opinion, and although he did not stand for re-election as an MP on Sunday, he is still considered to be one of the big hitters in Civic Platform circles.
According to Sikorski, Civic Platform needs a new, strong leadership,and he argued that in spite of other factors involved in the defeat, Ewa Kopacz must also take responsibility.
“I am convinced that Ewa Kopacz will know what to do in this situation,” he said, adding that the results indicated by exit polls were “a great disappointment.”
Ewa Kopacz has been prime minister since September 2014, taking over from Donald Tusk, who became president of the European Council on 1 December 2014.
Civic Platform, together with junior coalition partner the agrarian Polish People's Party, ruled for two consecutive terms, from 2007. The 8-year period marks the longest stretch in power of any government since the collapse of communism in 1989. (nh/rk)