Polish Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, often described as Poland’s most powerful politician, will step down from his government position early next year.
According to sources from the Polish news agency PAP, he informed party members. Kaczynski would like to free up more time for his work as the conservative ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party leader.
The revelation that 72-year-old Kaczynski would like to step down as deputy prime minister comes at a sensitive time. A recent ruling by the Polish Constitutional Court has put an even more significant strain on an already tense relationship with the European Union. The judges ruled that Polish law sometimes outweighs European law. Other EU countries reacted with shock.
Poland has been at loggerheads with the EU’s executive board for years over reforms in the country that, according to Brussels, undermines democracy and the rule of law. Kaczynski’s PiS party still leads the polls, but many Poles are following the conflict with Brussels with growing concern. More than 100,000 people took to the streets last weekend to express support for their country’s EU membership.
PiS has not yet confirmed that the Deputy Prime Minister will step back in 2022. Kaczynski has been considered a central figure in Polish politics for years. He was Prime Minister in 2006 and 2007 and currently, as Deputy Prime Minister, deals with defence and state security. His twin brother Lech was president for many years but was killed in a plane crash in 2010.