Poles believe President Andrzej Duda should nominate Donald Tusk as the next prime minister, according to a poll published in Polish media on Tuesday, as the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS, ECR) appears to be running out of options to form a coalition government.
Although PiS came first in the parliamentary elections on 15 October, Tusk’s Civic Coalition (KO, EPP), together with the centrist Third Way (Renew/EPP) alliance and the Left (S&D), won more than 54% and secured a majority of 248 seats in the 460-seat Sejm, the lower house of parliament.
Now, it is President Andrzej Duda’s turn to nominate the new prime minister. After last week’s consultations, Duda said there are two “serious candidates” for the post: incumbent Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki of PiS and opposition leader Donald Tusk of KO.
Tusk is indeed viewed as the future head of government by about 40.4% of Poles, the newest survey by the United Surveys pollster for private RMF FM radio and Dziennik Gazeta Prawna reads. In contrast, 30.2% of the respondents think Morawiecki should be appointed.
Some 17.9% think it should be someone other than the two candidates mentioned by Duda, while 11.5% do not have a clear opinion.
Duda’s nomination of the new government is expected when the new parliament meets for the first time on 13 November.
Still, many opposition politicians believe that the president is intentionally prolonging the process to give PiS a chance to form a majority, an argument that PiS MEP Ryszard Legutko strongly rejects.
“The president is acting by the Constitution,” Legutko told Euractiv.pl on Tuesday, addressing the opposition’s accusations.
The best option for Jarosław Kaczyński’s party would be to enter a coalition with the centrist Polish People’s Party (PSL, EPP), a member of the Third Way alliance. However, PSL head Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz clarified that his party would rather cooperate with other opposition parties than PiS.
Nevertheless, if the PiS were to ally with the PSL, it would be another example of cooperation between the EPP and ECR groups at the national level, which has proved successful in the Czech Republic and Italy.
Consequently, PiS allegedly attempts to drag in some newly-elected opposition lawmakers, Euractiv reported earlier this week. According to Morawiecki, the party has so far managed to bring six MPs on side.
During its eight years in power, PiS implemented many controversial reforms that put the party on a conflicting path with the European Commission, which accused the party of undermining judicial independence, media freedom and women’s rights.
Tusk visited Brussels last week, announcing that his return to power would make Warsaw rejoin the EU mainstream.
Tusk previously served as prime minister in a coalition government with the PSL between 2007 and 2014, after which he became president of the European Council in late 2014.
(Aleksandra Krzysztoszek | Euractiv.pl)
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