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Polish PM calls for confidence vote to strengthen hand before EU meeting

Polish PM calls for confidence vote to strengthen hand before EU meeting
FILE PHOTO - Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki arrives for the European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium October 18, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir   -   Copyright  Francois Lenoir(Reuters)
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WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Wednesday he will call for a vote of confidence in the government to ensure it has a mandate for its reforms before this week’s summit of European Union leaders.

Morawiecki’s nationalist and eurosceptic Law and Justice (PiS) party has overhauled the judiciary and taken more control over public media – attracting criticism from the EU and from rights groups who have accused Warsaw of undermining the rule of law.

With a year left until national elections, the party has shown signs of rowing back on some of the changes – for example letting Supreme Court judges who had been forced to retire return to work – as it seeks to broaden its support base amid signs that its support might be waning.

“It’s been three years since PiS came to power … and we have seen a decisive change in how economic and social policy is viewed in Poland,” Morawiecki told lawmakers.

PiS has grown increasingly isolated in the EU because of accusations at home and abroad of a tilt towards authoritarianism.

In recent months, it was also rattled by allegations of corruption at the financial regulator and anger amid some voters over its decision to celebrate Poland’s century of independence with far-right groups.

(Reporting by Pawel Florkiewicz, editing by Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk and Andrew Heavens)

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