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 JarosÅaw KaczyÅski spent 37 days in hospital, officials say
Speculation is mounting about the long-term future of Polandâs ruling rightwing Law and Justice party (PiS), after senior government officials acknowledged that the party leader, JarosÅaw KaczyÅski, who ha s not made a public appearance since April, was treated in hospital earlier this year for a âlife-threatening situationâ.
KaczyÅski 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, Åukasz Szumowski, told Polish radio that âJarosÅaw KaczyÅskiâs 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 mannerâ.
No further details have been released.
KaczyÅski, 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 Polandâs 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 KaczyÅskiâs health, in comments that appeared to be directed at members of their own party. âAll those dreaming about replacing KaczyÅski, must get armed with a very long patience,â said the interior minister, Joachim BrudziÅski, earlier this month. âThe chairman is in full control of what is going on in the party and is not planning a political retirement.â
âPlease be calm, [KaczyÅski] is keeping his eye on things,â 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, KaczyÅski 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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