Poland's de facto leader recovering from 'life-threatening situation'

By On June 19, 2018

Poland's de facto leader recovering from 'life-threatening situation'

Poland Poland's de facto leader recovering from 'life-threatening situation'

Law and Justice party leader Jarosław Kaczyński spent 37 days in hospital, officials say

Jarosław Kaczyński
Jarosław Kaczyński is the leader and driving force behind the Law and Justice party, which assumed office after victory in parliamentary elections in 2015. Photograph: Czarek Sokołowski/AP

Speculation is mounting about the long-term future of Poland’s ruling rightwing Law and Justice party (PiS), after senior government officials acknowledged that the party leader, Jarosław Kaczyński, who ha s not made a public appearance since April, was treated in hospital earlier this year for a “life-threatening situation”.

Kaczyński returned to work last week after spending 37 days in a Warsaw military hospital. His aides had long maintained that his absence had been due to arthritis in his knee, but on Friday the health minister, Łukasz Szumowski, told Polish radio that “Jarosław Kaczyński’s state of health was such that not accepting him to the hospital would have threatened his life, and therefore he was admitted in an acute manner”.

No further details have been released.

Kaczyński, who turns 69 on Monday, is the leader and driving force behind the Law and Justice party, which assumed office after victory in parliamentary elections in 2015. Though the former prime minister does not hold any public office other than that of a backbench member of parliament, he is Poland’s undisputed de facto leader, handpicking ministers and making str ategic decisions on the future of the country from his party office in a ramshackle building in central Warsaw.
In recent weeks, senior officials have moved to quash the speculation regarding Kaczyński’s health, in comments that appeared to be directed at members of their own party. “All those dreaming about replacing Kaczyński, must get armed with a very long patience,” said the interior minister, Joachim Brudziński, earlier this month. “The chairman is in full control of what is going on in the party and is not planning a political retirement.”

“Please be calm, [Kaczyński] is keeping his eye on things,” Marek Suski, chief of staff to the Polish prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, also a Law and Justice member, told a pro-government weekly last week.

Having co-founded Law and Justice with his late twin brother, Lech, in 2001, Kaczyński has no obvious successor as leader of the party, with some commentators suggesting that his departure could tr igger a substantive realignment on the right of Polish politics.

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Source: Google News Poland | Netizen 24 Poland

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