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Poland's Law and Justice ponders ruling alone, after United Right coalition 'collapses'

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The leader of PiS Party (Law and Justice) Jaroslaw Kaczynski speaks during a campaign convention in Warsaw
The leader of PiS Party (Law and Justice) Jaroslaw Kaczynski speaks during a campaign convention in Warsaw   -   Copyright  JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP
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An official with Poland's conservative governing party said on Friday (September 18) that the country's right-wing government coalition has collapsed, but other politicians talked of only a serious crisis.

It came amid a political disagreement during a parliamentary vote on a bill beefing up animal protection, which was opposed by a minority coalition partner.

Marek Suski, a top lawmaker, said the Law and Justice party would continue to run Poland as a minority government, without the two junior partners that were part of the alliance.

The "United Right" political alliance, led by the Law and Justice Party (PiS), has been in power since 2015.

Suski's announcement Friday morning came after justice minister Zbigniew Ziobro and his party members refused to vote for an animal welfare bill which powerful Law and Justice leader Jarosław Kaczyński proposed.

But other coalition politicians said it was too early to prejudge the issue and that more talks would take place.

Kaczyński, 71, is a lawmaker in parliament and has no official government role, but he is widely understood to be Poland's dominating political force, deciding government policies and appointments.

The lower house of parliament, or Sejm, approved provisions of the proposed bill that include the prohibition of breeding fur animals and limitations on ritual slaughter.

Law and Justice managed to get the bill passed with the support of opposition lawmakers.

Suski confirmed that Kaczyński told members of Law and Justice's junior partners in a closed-door meeting before the vote that “the tail cannot wag the dog."

Suski said it was important to not accept cruelty to animals, adding “only good people should govern Poland.”

The next Parliamentary election is scheduled for 2023.

Euronews's Lezsek Kablak has more from Krakow in the media player at the top.

This article has been modified from the version originally published.