Polish opposition nominates Donald Tusk as PM candidate

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The leaders of Polish opposition parties that won a joint majority in the October 15 parliamentary elections, announced that they are ready to form a new government, with former European Council president Donald Tusk as their candidate for Prime Minister. The joint statement was issued on Tuesday by Tusk, the leader of the largest opposition party Civic Platform, and other opposition party leaders, reports Xinhua news agency. Together, these parties won over 54 per cent of the vote in the parliamentary election and will have a majority of 248 seats in the 460-seat Sejm, Poland’s Lower House of Parliament.

The ruling Law and Justice party, which won most of the vote but fell short of a majority, now has a slim chance of finding a viable coalition partner, according to a Polish Press Agency report. Tusk, 66, had also served as Prime Minister from 2007 to 2014. “Today, together with the leaders of democratic parties, we confirmed our readiness to fully cooperate and create a new majority in the next parliament,” Tusk told reporters. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Polish President Andrzej Duda is holding consultations at the Presidential Palace with representatives of parties that won seats in the new parliament.

According to the Polish constitution, the first sessions of the Sejm and Senate must be convened by the president within 30 days of the election. The current government must then resign at the first session of the new Sejm, to be held on or before November 14. The president then has 14 days to nominate a candidate for prime minister. Once named, the candidate has 14 days to secure a vote of confidence from lawmakers. If this attempt is unsuccessful, parliament then selects its own nominee for prime minister.

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