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Poland’s PM now faces task of forming new government

Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini, left, speaks as his counterparts Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland, 2nd left, Andrej Babis of Czech Republic, 2nd right, and Viktor Orban of Hungary, right, look on during the Visegrad Group (V4) press conference before the Summit of Cohesion Friends in Prague, Nov. 5, 2019. (Ondrej Deml/CTK via AP) SLOVAKIA OUT

WARSAW – Poland’s prime minister on Thursday was given the task of forming a new government after the ruling right-wing party won a second term in power.

President Andrzej Duda appointed Mateusz Morawiecki to return as prime minister and Morawiecki said his next four-year term will focus on greater economic growth as Poles strive to catch up with the West.

His new Cabinet is expected to include most of the same ministers linked to the ruling Law and Justice party but Morawiecki is paying special attention to the European Union and climate issues.

EU matters are being moved from the Foreign Ministry to Morawiecki’s office. And in a sign that coal-reliant Poland is getting more serious about fighting climate change, there will be a new ministry for climate headed by Michal Kurtyka, who hosted last year’s U.N. climate summit in Poland.

Political analyst Slawomir Debski called the actions a “very good move,” given that Europe is facing serious discussions about its budget, funds for Poland, fighting climate change and protecting the environment.

Morawiecki is to outline his policies and seek approval for the new Cabinet on Tuesday at the new parliament’s first session. With 235 lawmakers in the 460-member lower house, or Sejm, the conservative ruling party is in a strong position to pass its legislative agenda.