Polish finance chief Morawiecki to be the new prime minister

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Poland's governing rightwing party on Thursday tapped its Finance Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, an ex-banker, to replace Prime Minister Beata Szydlo who tendered her resignation as the administration focuses more on the economy.

The government is riding high in opinion polls, but party leaders said they want to accelerate economic growth and raise Poland's profile internationally, goals that Morawiecki is best suited to pursue.

Insiders said a firmer hand was needed to steer the party through elections over the next three years.

"The Law and Justice (PiS) party political committee has proposed the candidature of Mateusz Morawiecki for prime minister", party spokeswoman Beata Mazurek told reporters.

Our correspondent says he represents the younger, moderate face of the party and may help improve Poland's tarnished image overseas.

A Polish government official says the country's lawmakers will hold a confirmation vote next week to appoint Finance Minister Mateusz Morawiecki as the new prime minister.

Deputy Culture Minister Jaroslaw Sellin said the parliamentary vote to appoint Morawiecki as her successor has been set for Tuesday.

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Some also see Morawiecki, a former global banker who speaks foreign languages, as a better placed than Szydlo to negotiate with European partners who believe democracy is eroding in Poland.

Earlier Thursday, Szydlo and her Cabinet easily survived a no-confidence vote in parliament called by the opposition centrist Civic Platform party, which accuses the government of harming Poland with laws that it says are anti-democratic.

The Law and Justice party said in a statement Thursday night that "many successes were achieved in key areas of Polish life" during Szydlo's tenure despite "the huge determined resistance by enemies of the ideas of the good change" both inside and outside Poland.

"The last two years - it was an extraordinary time for me and the service to Poland and Poles was an honor", Szydlo said on Twitter after the decision of her replacement was announced in the evening.

She noted that Szydlo will be offered an important position in the new government, without giving further details.

Szydło added that she was keeping her fingers crossed for Morawiecki and for "other ministers responsible for the economy, for the entire government".

The government shuffle comes ahead of parliamentary votes on Friday on two controversial laws that would give the government far-reaching powers over the judicial system.

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