Former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has declared his support for the Civic Platform’s (PO) Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska in the coming presidential contest and published a photo of them together on social media.
In doing so, Tusk has backed one party in the European People’s Party (EPP), which he currently heads as president, against another party belonging to the same group.
The EPP is a political group at the EU level representing center-right and right-wing parties across Europe. Both the PO and the Polish People’s Party (PSL) are a part of the group, with the PSL fielding Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz as its candidate in Poland’s national elections.
Tusk’s declaration cut short the speculation that hie might back either the PSL’s candidate or the independent catholic liberal and TV celebrity Szymon Hołownia.
In the end, Tusk backed the former press spokesman from the Polish government he used to lead from 2007 to 2014.
President Andrzej Duda’s campaign reacted by mocking Tusk’s announcement. The spokesman for Duda’s campaign, MEP Adam Bielan, tweeted “thank you” and a deputy minister of digital affairs, Adam Andruszkiewicz, called Tusk’s support “the kiss of death”.
— Adam Bielan (@AdamBielan) February 23, 2020
Other supporters of Duda took to social media to demonstrate satisfaction that Tusk will help to “mobilize Andrzej Duda’s electorate” and pointing how Tusk declined to run for president himself because he felt he carried too much baggage that would be a burden for the opposition in Poland.
The former official photographer of Duda, Andrzej Hrehorowicz, summed up it a post, saying, “Donald Tusk has burned his boats in Poland, so he is trying to get in through the back door.”