Jadwiga Emilewicz leaves Jarosław Gowin

Deputy PM Jadwiga Emilewicz has decided to quit the “Agreement” party led by the former deputy PM Jarosław Gowin. She told reporters that during the past few months she and Mr Gowin ended up on two opposite sides within the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) block.

Jadwiga Emilewicz has left the “Agreement” party and her former mentor Jarosław Gowin after her party decided that she would no longer be Deputy PM following the imminent government reshuffle. She is currently the Deputy MP and minister for Development. Her ministry and the job of Deputy PM are to be taken over by Mr Gowin after the reshuffle.

“Agreement”, like “Solidarity Poland” the other of the smaller parties that make up the ruing PiS block, is to have just one ministry in the new restructured government. In order to have any chance of remaining in the government Ms Emilewicz had no other course to take but to leave Mr Gowin’s party, while remaining in the PiS parliamentary caucus.

Jadwiga Emilewicz is a close ally of PM Mateusz Morawiecki. He is attempting to keep her within the government, possibly as the minister of finance to replace Tadeusz Kościński. However, neither her former party “Agreement” nor PiS itself are over-enthusiastic about seeing her remain in the Cabinet.

The fall-out between Gowin and Emilewicz

The falling out between Ms Emilewicz and Mr Gowin began when he risked the ruling block falling apart over the issue of the date of the presidential election. Mr Gowin was set against the election going ahead in May and in the end managed to have it delayed until late June. He resigned from the government over the issue.

Ms Emilewicz replaced him as the party’s nominee for Deputy PM. In the months that followed she made it clear that she wanted the party to back PM Morawiecki and to steer a course very close to the core of the PIS block headed by Jarosław Kaczyński.

Mr Gowin had other ideas as party leaders and most of the party’s members backed him. He maintained a tactical alliance with Zbigniew Ziobro’s “Solidarity Poland” in the talks about a new deal within the ruling block over the share out of government jobs and legislative programme. And he distanced his party from both the animal protection legislation being promoted by Mr Kaczyński as well as what he sees as an over-emphasis on combating “LGBT ideology”.

Jadwiga Emilewicz’s departure is a blow to “Agreement” as it comes on the very day on which all the block’s parties will be celebrating the signing of the deal between them which sees the ruling block in tact with a majority in parliament. She is a highly valued minister and was tipped to rise even further.

However, it looks as if she miscalculated and over-reached within “Agreement”. She attempted to persuade the party to her preferred political course, but did so in a way which was unconvincing to that party’s rank and file. Her message of ‘let’s follow the PM” was hardly an inspired piece of leadership. Mr Gowin saw off her challenge over the summer and cemented his grip on the party which he founded.