Ruling party leader resigns from government

The PiS leader, who was head of the Security Committee, told PAP: "At the moment I am not in the government. Rafał Guz/PAP

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of Poland's ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party and an erstwhile deputy prime minister, has told PAP that the prime minister and president have accepted his resignation.

Kaczynski added that he would be succeeded as deputy prime minister by the defence minister, Mariusz Blaszczak.

The PiS leader, who was head of the Security Committee, told PAP: "At the moment I am not in the government.

"I have submitted a resignation application to the prime minister and it has been accepted," Kaczynski continued. "As far as I know, the president has also signed it."

He said that during his time in office he had achieved his stated plan. "I will not hide the fact that there was no war in that plan, though it was prepared for the possibility of war," he said. "I think in this time the most important decisions related to Poland avoiding a very difficult fate were taken. We want to arm ourselves sufficiently that any attack on our country would be an entirely irrational undertaking."

He said he had fond memories of his 20 months in the Council of Ministers and that he was supposed to serve four months fewer but war broke out in Ukraine.

"Today, the course of the war is such that we don't know when it will end," Kaczynski continued. "However, we know more or less when we will have elections, in connection with which I had to make a choice and I chose. I would gladly wait until the end of the war, but it looks as if it will drag on longer," he added.

"I decided I have to focus on what is most important for Poland's future," he went on. "It's not that I overestimate my role, it's simply that the party has to regain its verve because time that is coming that is the most important for every political party in the world. Elections are about achieving a good electoral result and when it comes to PiS, that good electoral result will be winning them and the possibility of exercising power, of course in coalition with the United Right."

He described the choice of Mariusz Blaszczak as his replacement as a "natural decision" as there is a war and he is minister of defence, adding that the timing of his appointment was up to the president.

Kaczynski also said there would be one further change related to the functioning of the Security Committee, explaining that Zbigniew Hoffmann, the committee's secretary and deputy head of the Prime Minister's Office, would be appointed as a minister and would be in charge of the committee's day-to-day supervision.

"It should be remembered that Minister Blaszczak to a great extent will however have to handle the Ministry of Defence and the Security Committee deals with matters of the special services, the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and also - though to a lesser extent - Justice Ministry issues. In connection with that, someone has to 'keep watch' every day. That should be a person of the appropriate rank," Kaczynski explained.