The announcement of the proposed line-up of Poland's incoming cabinet by the socially conservative Law and Justice party had drawn criticism from Russian media outlets.
Candidate for prime minister Beata Szydło and chairman of the Law and Justice party Jarosław Kaczyński. Photo: PAP/Paweł Supernak
“In terms of international policy, there will be two politicians known for their anti-Russian sentiments at the head of two key ministries,” government-owned newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta commented.
The Law and Justice (PiS) party head, Jarosław Kaczyński, announced Beata Szydło on Monday as the candidate for prime minister, who in turn confirmed that among others, Antoni Macierewicz is the candidate for defence minister and Witold Waszczykowski the candidate for foreign minister.
Rossiyskaya Gazeta described Macierewicz as “a politician whose scandalous reputation is known not only in Poland”.
Macierewicz has repeatedly advanced theories that the April 2010 Smolensk air crash in Russia, in which the then president Lech Kaczyński (twin brother of Jarosław) died along with 95 others, was the result of sabotage.
The paper likewise argued that Waszczykowski “is not only a supporter of the anti-Russian sanctions of the West, but in his view, the sanctions should touch the whole of Russian society,” the article stated.
Kommersant, a Russian daily newspaper, reflected that “the election results gave Jarosław Kaczyński a monopoly on the government.”
Meanwhile Cezary Tomczyk, spokesman for the outgoing centrist government of Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz, has described the proposed cabinet of the Law and Justice party as “the greatest political fraud of the last twenty five years.”
He took issue with the choice of Macierewicz, as well as that of both Zbigniew Ziobro, who had served in Law and Justice's cabinet between 2005 and 2007, and Mariusz Kamiński, who will coordinate the work of special services.
“They promised a government of a political breakthrough, of a new opening and new faces, and what we have is a cabinet of Macierewicz, Ziobro and Kaminski.” Tomczyk said.
However, outgoing minister of defence Tomasz Siemoniak was more conciliatory.
“I myself congratulate Antoni Macierewicz,” he told reporters on Monday, adding that “the army is in good shape, the international situation is uncertain; so here [Macierewicz] has a large responsibility.”
Siemoniak expressed his hope that Macierewicz continue the defense policy thus far: a “presence in NATO, modernization of Poland’s army and a responsible, thoughtful policy” for Poland.
According to chief economist of the Citi Handlowy Bank, Piotr Kalisz, the country’s demographics represent one of the main challenges facing the new government, with an urgent need to halt a downward trend in Poland’s population.
The country’s economy is in good shape, he said, adding that an effective use of European Union funds is another important task of the new government.
Under the Polish Constitution, the President will now entrust Beata Szydło with a mission to form a cabinet, which will then have to approved by the Parliament.