Sejm Marshal Marek Kuchciński quits amid private flights scandal
Poland's parliament speaker, Marek Kuchcinski, said on Thursday he would resign after it was revealed that he used government aircraft for private trips by family members.
With elections set for October, the scandal has embarrassed the ruling right-wing nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party, which has said it is cleaning up an alleged legacy of graft and communist influence tolerated by previous governments.
"I plan to submit my resignation tomorrow," Kuchciński told a news conference, three days after he apologised for using government Gulfstream jet for 23 flights with his family.
Political analysts said that until Thursday the PiS had adopted a wait and see approach, hoping the scandal would die off amidst the summer holiday lull.
But after Polish media published further details of the flights and pointed to discrepancies in explanations by Kuchciński and the government, the potential damage became too serious to gloss over.
Also present at the conference was Law and Justice Chairman Jarosław Kaczyński, who said that his party upholds high standards in public life and hence the Marshal's decision.
Deputy Marshal of the Sejm, Ryszard Terlecki from Law and Justice, said on Thursday that the new Marshal would be chosen during Friday's session.