Mon. Feb 26th, 2024

Donald Tusk, leader of the pro-Europeans, becomes prime minister of Poland

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By being sworn in as prime minister on Wednesday, Donald Tusk will end eight years of nationalist rule in Poland.

Agence France-Presse

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Donald Tusk, leader of the coalition of pro-European forces, was elected Monday evening as Polish Prime Minister by the Diet (lower house), after eight years of populist-nationalist government.

248 deputies voted for him, 201 against.

Controlled by Mr. Tusk's pro-EU alliance, the Diet rejected earlier Monday the proposal for a new government from the nationalist populists in power since 2015.

After his election, the former head of the European Council thanked the Poles for their trust in the October 15 elections.

It is a great day for all those who, for many years, believed that things would get better, that we would drive away the darkness, the evil, he said.

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ELSE ON NEWS: A commission will look into abuses in Canadian sport< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">From tomorrow, we will be able to right the wrongs, so that everyone feels at home in Poland, he added.

Responding to Mr. Tusk, the leader of the populist Law and Justice (PiS), Jaroslaw Kaczynski, called him a German agent.

M. Kaczynski has long accused the Civic Coalition and Mr. Tusk himself of representing German and Russian interests.

The Poland of my dreams is the one without politicians who will act in favor of foreign states, he declared earlier, denouncing a social misunderstanding and proclaiming the end of democracy in Poland.

The vote on Mr Tusk's candidacy came after a failed attempt by populists to form a new government.

During the day, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki presented his general policy speech to Parliament, but immediately lost the vote of confidence by 266 votes against and 190 in favor.

Even if the coalition of pro-European forces won the legislative elections of October 15, it was to the outgoing nationalist power that President Andrzej Duda, his ally, first entrusted the task of establishing a government, delaying the end of the populist nationalist camp's eight years in power by almost two months.

Made up of the Civic Coalition (KO, center), the Third Way (Christian Democrat) and The Left, the pro-European coalition has 248 deputies, facing 194 elected representatives from PiS and 18 others from the Confederation (far right), out of a total of 460 seats.

On Tuesday, Mr. Tusk is expected, according to official announcements, to present his own policy speech and his government, and immediately submit to a vote of confidence, before taking the oath of office on Wednesday to complete the procedures required by the Constitution and formally end to eight years of nationalist power in Poland.

Mr. Tusk intends to be able to represent his country at the next European summit, Thursday and Friday in Brussels.

I look forward to working with you, starting with the important European summit this week, reacted Monday evening on X the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen. Your experience and strong commitment to our European values ​​will be valuable in making Europe stronger, she added.

The President Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelensky also welcomed the election of Mr. Tusk, calling for unity against Moscow.

During the election campaign, Mr. Tusk made a point of releasing billions of euros in European aid that had been frozen due to long-standing tensions between Brussels and the outgoing government.< /p>

He also said he would restore Poland's credibility within the EU and give it a important voice in the context of the ongoing war in neighboring Ukraine.

I am happy that Poland is returning to the path of development, welcomed the historic leader of the Solidarity union and former Polish president Lech Walesa who attended the debate parliamentarian.

Expectations are enormous for this future pro-European government, but populist nationalists will remain a powerful opposition and will continue to control several state institutions.

Analysts speak of a spider's web woven by PiS around the State, all the more solid as Mr. Duda's presidential mandate only ends x27;in 2025 and that it can at any time use its right of veto on the laws adopted by parliament.

PiS has took advantage of the two additional months of power given to him as a gift by the head of state to strengthen himself institutionally and financially, political analyst Jaroslaw Kuisz told AFP.

The nationalist party has thus appointed its representatives at the head of different institutions, with often irrevocable mandates, prosecutors at the national prosecutor's office and around 150 new judges, chosen by a body criticized by Brussels for its dependence on PiS.

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