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Polish parliament picks new speaker, seeking to end scandal

WARSAW, Poland — Polish lawmakers have chosen a new parliamentary speaker as the ruling populist party seeks to move past a scandal over the frequent use of a government jet by the previous speaker and his family.

A majority of lawmakers in the lower house of parliament voted on Friday to make Elzbieta Witek, who was the interior minister until earlier in the day, the new speaker.

She replacess Marek Kuchcinski, who announced Thursday that he would resign because public anger over his flights was preventing him from carrying out his job. He insisted he had done nothing wrong.

The affair threatened the reputation of the ruling party, Law and Justice, ahead of parliamentary elections in October.

Prosecutors announced this week that they are investigating possible irregularities in connection with Kuchcinski’s flights.

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