Poland's president is to swear in a government expected to last no longer than 14 days

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s president is swearing in a government Monday expected to last no longer than 14 days, a tactical maneuver that allows the conservative Law and Justice party to hang onto power a bit longer — and make more appointments to state bodies.

Following a national election in October, President Andrzej Duda is due to once again swear in Mateusz Morawiecki, who has held the job of prime minister since late 2017. According to the constitution, Morawiecki will have 14 days to try to build a coalition that can win a majority of support in the parliament.

But that looks like a lost cause because Morawiecki has no coalition partners after his nationalist and conservative Law and Justice party lost its parliamentary majority and no other parties want to join its government.

Morawiecki says he is trying to find partners to govern with, but himself puts his chances at “10% or even less.”

Critics of Morawiecki and Duda — who is politically aligned with Law and Justice — denounce the decision to tap a government with no apparent chance at winning parliamentary backing as a hopeless act of political theater.

Some critics point out that the the outgoing party is using the time to make more appointments, which will extend its influence over state bodies even after giving up the reins of government. It has in recent days nominated loyalists to head the state auditing body and the financial supervision authority.

After eight years in power, Law and Justice won the most votes in the election but lost its parliamentary majority, getting just 194 seats in the 460-seat lower house of parliament, the Sejm.

Power is now passing — albeit slowly — to three pro-European Union parties that ran on separate ballots but vowed to work together. They jointly gained a parliamentary majority of 248 seats and are already leading the work of the parliament.

Their candidate for prime minister is Donald Tusk, who already held that position from 2007 to 2014 before becoming a top EU leader, the president of the European Council, for five years.

He is on track to once again be prime minister after Morawiecki’s time runs out on Dec. 11.

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