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Mateusz Morawiecki to replace Beata Szydło as prime minister

Law and Justice party says Mateusz Morawiecki will take over as part of expected government reshuffle. Poland’s governing Law and Justice (PiS) party has named the development and finance minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, to replace the prime minister, Beata Szydło, who tendered her resignation on Thursday, The Guardian reports.

Morawiecki, 49, who has made a name for himself by taking on tax evasion and bolstering the welfare state, takes the job at the beginning of what is expected to be a broader government reshuffle to prepare the rightwing party for votes due in the next three years: next year’s local elections are followed by a parliamentary poll in 2019 and a presidential election in 2020.

Earlier on Thursday, Szydło survived a no-confidence motion in parliament tabled by the liberal opposition, amid reports that she would be replaced by her own party by the end of the day.

Since the Eurosceptic PiS won power two years ago, Szydło has overseen sweeping changes to state institutions in Poland, which critics in the European Union and Washington say have subverted democracy and the rule of law.

“The last two years – it was an extraordinary time for me and the service to Poland and Poles was an honour,” Szydło said on Twitter.

Jan Dziedziczak, the deputy foreign minister, told the Polish PAP news agency that Szydło was expected to stay on as a deputy prime minister in the PiS government.

Further changes to the government are due in January, the PAP said.

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