Polish opposition signs coalition agreement paving way for Tusk’s return to power

By Thomas Brooke
3 Min Read

Opposition parties in Poland capable of governing with a parliamentary majority signed a coalition agreement on Friday, paving the way for the liberal, pro-EU former prime minister, Donald Tusk, to return to power.

The deal will likely result in Poland’s next administration comprising Tusk’s liberal Civic Coalition (KO); the center parties of Poland 2050 and the Polish People’s Party (PSL), which ran in the election under the Third Way Alliance; and the New Left.

Negotiations had been ongoing for a few weeks after the Polish election held on Oct. 15 saw the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party lose its grip on power despite returning to the Sejm, Poland’s lower house of parliament, with the most seats.

“We are ready to take responsibility for Poland in the coming years,” Tusk told a news conference, later telling his followers in a social media post: “I signed this contract primarily with you. And for you.

Under the agreement, Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz, president of PSL, will serve as Tusk’s deputy prime minister in a role shared with Krzystof Gawkowski of the New Left.

Poland 2050 leader Szymon Holownia will share the post of speaker of the Polish parliament with the New Left’s Wlodzimierz Czarzasty, both serving two years.

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Polish President Andrzej Duda announced on Tuesday he was following convention by offering incumbent Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki the first opportunity to form a government after his Law and Justice party secured the most votes in October’s election.

However, the prime minister accepted he was facing an uphill battle as he sought to entice the right-wing Confederation to enter into coalition with his party; he also needed to lure Kosiniak-Kamysz’s PSL away from Tusk’s proposed administration.

Law and Justice’s chances of retaining power now appear to be dead in the water following today’s announcement.

“In our agreement, we found a common denominator for the issues we want to implement,” Kosiniak-Kamysz told journalists following the signing of the coalition agreement. “They concern support for families, employees, entrepreneurs, the Polish countryside, education, health care, and women’s rights,” he added.

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