Cabinet reshuffle in Poland, Kaczynski returns to government as deputy PM

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party in Poland, will re-enter government as deputy prime minster, PМ Mateusz Morawiecki announced on Wednesday.

Kaczynski, who served as Poland's prime minister from 2006 to 2007, returns to executive office as part of a broader cabinet reshuffle which recently caused bitter infighting within the governing majority. His presence is expected to help moderate between competing factions, dpa reported. Since his conservative PiS party returned to power in late 2015, Kaczynski has preferred to steer events from a back seat and has held no official function in the executive branch.

Morawiecki also announced names of other new ministers. One of the prospective nominations, PiS lawmaker Przemyslaw Czarnek, has triggered exceptionally strong criticism due to his comments on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

"Let us defend ourselves against LGBT ideology and end listening to these idiocies about human rights or equality. These people are not equal to normal people and let us finally end this discussion," Czarnek said in a televised comment in June. Czarnek was involved in a re-election campaign of President Andrzej Duda, who has also come under fire for homophobic comments. Czarnek will act as minister of science and education.

Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro, whose dismissal had been recently pondered within PiS, has retained his post.

Poland also decided to streamline the government as part of the reshuffle and will merge a number of ministries, Morawiecki said. At present, the country has 20 ministries.

The new ministers are to be sworn in next week.

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