Donald Tusk will not be my prime minister’ reads the title of an upcoming interview with Polish President Andrzej Duda for the right-wing Sieci weekly, which will be published on Monday.
Speaking to the magazine sympathising with the currently ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS, ECR) party, Duda criticised the new parliamentary majority, consisting of Tusk’s Civil Coalition (KO, EPP/Greens), the Third Road alliance (EPP/Renew) and the Left (S&D), who declared readiness to form a new government.
“Under the current constitution, all presidents, my predecessors, have always entrusted the mission of forming a government to the winning party. This year’s elections were won by Law and Justice,” he insisted.
Duda, who nominated PiS’ Mateusz Morawiecki for prime minister, said the Tusk-led coalition failed to convince him to continue the tradition of assigning the winning party to form a government after general elections.
He told Sieci that, during the consultations he had with the party leaders before having announced his decision, he expected to see “a common and cohesive programme” of the three parties, while their leaders tended to say “completely different things,” even on fundamental issues.
As last month’s general elections left PiS with 194 seats in the Sejm, the parliament’s lower house, compared to 248 seats taken by the opposition, PiS will likely fail to obtain a vote of confidence, and it will eventually be Tusk’s camp that comes to power.
In announcing its new edition, the weekly does not quote the exact words in which Duda reveals his approach to opposition leader Tusk becoming the new prime minister.
Despite the article not yet being published, Tusk responded to the interview’s title. “Tusk won’t be my PM, President Duda said. I can confirm. I won’t,” he wrote on X on Sunday.
Tusk’s relationship with Duda “may even be worse” than he used to have during his first term as prime minister, between 2007 and 2010, with another PiS-nominated president, Lech Kaczyński, until Kaczyński died tragically in a plane crash near Smolensk, Russia, social scientist Jarosław Flis, Professor at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow told Euractiv Poland.
He added he expects Duda to block any attempts by Tusk’s new government to cancel the controversial reforms PiS introduced during its eight-year rule, including the judicial reforms that the European Commission believes seriously undermine judicial independence.
Duda “may not respect other politicians, but he must respect the will of the nation,” KO MP Dariusz Joński told Euractiv Poland, stressing that Polish people will most likely not like it if the president obstructed the government’s work.
PiS MEP Ryszard Legutko does not believe in proper relations between Duda and Tusk. “For years, Tusk and his party have been showing contempt towards the PiS government and the president”, he told Euractiv Poland, adding he expected the relationship between the president and Tusk to look the same now.
(Aleksandra Krzysztoszek | Euractiv.pl)
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