Polish PM's fate uncertain amid talk of a reshuffle

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Poland's governing rightwing party on Thursday tapped its Finance Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, an ex-banker, to replace Prime Minister Beata Szydlo who has tendered her resignation.

"The Law and Justice (PiS) party political committee has proposed the candidature of Mateusz Morawiecki for prime minister", governing party spokeswoman Beata Mazurek told reporters in Warsaw.

Mazurek said Szydlo, who had been prime minister since elections brought PiS to power in 2015, resigned shortly before Morawiecki's appointment.

Shifting challenges at home and overseas necessitated a change to "correct the composition of the government, including its leadership", the party said in the statement.

The changes in the government would need to be approved during a parliament session next week.

Szydło is to be offered the post of deputy prime minister in Morawiecki's government, PAP cited Deputy Foreign Minister Jan Dziedziczak as saying. The government wants to preserve and perhaps accelerate the trend because it needs funds to support its popular policy of giving money to families with more than one child. Approval is expected given the ruling party's majority in parliament. Poland now enjoys record low unemployment of around 7 percent, growing wages and growth of over 4 percent per year.

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The government also drew criticism from overseas following an Independence Day march last month that was organized by far-right groups. He is expected to reassure financial markets, given that he is regarded as business friendly, especially by the standards of the others in the Law and Justice party.

"The last two years - it was an extraordinary time for me and the service to Poland and Poles was an honour", Szydło said on Twitter.

Deputy Culture Minister Jaroslaw Sellin said the parliamentary vote to appoint Morawiecki as her successor has been set for Tuesday.

President Andrzej Duda met with Szydlo and Kaczynski on Thursday to discuss plans for a government reshuffle and urged decisions to be made quickly, Duda spokesman Krzysztof Lapinski said.

Since the eurosceptic PiS won power two years ago, Szydło has overseen sweeping changes to state institutions in Poland, which critics in the European Union and Washington say have subverted democracy and the rule of law.