The fault lines between Poland’s governing Law and Justice party (PiS) and its close allies were laid bare on Friday when several dozen lawmakers failed to support draft legislation.
Almost 40 lawmakers defied PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski and voted against a bill that would liquidate farms which breed animals for fur, and would introduce a broad range of provisions to improve animal welfare.
Another 15 lawmakers abstained.
The legislation is believed to be important to Kaczynski, a known cat-lover, who also wants to open his socially conservative party to younger voters.
However, factions within the party criticised the bill, citing the economic impact on farmers, where PiS has a strong following.
Eventually the bill was adopted by the lower house thanks to the support of opposition lawmakers.
PiS has been embroiled in an internal power struggle in recent weeks over a prospective cabinet reshuffle.
This infighting provoked factions within the party to openly criticize Kaczynski and his political protege, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
This criticism came primarily from United Poland (Solidarna Polska), a PiS satellite party, which appeals to more conservative voters.
A number of recent initiatives, including a plan to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention on violence against women and anti-LGBT rhetoric can be attributed to United Poland politicians.
According to senior PiS members, the government reshuffle talks have now been suspended. (dpa/NAN)