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Opposition senator elected Polish upper-house Speaker

13.11.2023 19:30
Opposition senator Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska was elected Speaker of the upper house of Poland’s parliament in a vote in Warsaw on Monday.
Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska celebrates being elected Speaker of the upper house of Polands parliament on Monday evening.
Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska celebrates being elected Speaker of the upper house of Poland's parliament on Monday evening.Photo: PAP/Paweł Supernak

Kidawa-Błońska, a politician with the opposition Civic Platform (PO) party and a former presidential contender, won 66 votes, defeating conservative candidate Marek Pęk, as the newly elected Polish Senate gathered for its first meeting.

Pęk, the previous deputy Senate Speaker from Poland’s ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, was supported by 33 senators, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.

The upper-house vote came after Polish MPs earlier in the day overwhelmingly elected centre-right opposition politician Szymon Hołownia as the Speaker of the lower house of parliament.

Poles elected a new set of 460 MPs and 100 senators when they went to the ballot box last month.

The conservative Law and Justice party, allied with two smaller groupings in a United Right coalition, won Poland's October 15 election, but lost its parliamentary majority and looks unlikely to secure a third consecutive term in power.

The opposition won 66 senatorial seats, while the ruling conservatives secured 34 seats in the upper house of Poland's bicameral parliament.

The upper house, the Senate, is less powerful than the lower chamber, but it can delay or amend legislation. The Sejm, the lower house, needs to muster an absolute majority to override Senate amendments.

Poland's pro-European opposition groups on Friday signed an agreement to form a coalition government, pledging to restore the rule of law, promote green energy and relax abortion rules, among other policies.

The Polish president said at the start of last week that he would entrust the mission of forming a new government to conservative Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

Duda was expected to officially nominate Morawiecki as prime minister-designate on Monday evening, according to an aide.


Source: IAR, PAP