Tusk wants to position his government against President Duda, says academic

Poland could soon see a showdown between its prime minister and president similar to that when Tusk was last in power against President Lech Kaczyński

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: wpolityce.pl
Poland's President Andrzej Duda, left, shakes hands with opposition party member Barbara Nowacka, right, as the top opposition leader Donald Tusk looks on, at the presidential palace in Warsaw, Poland, on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

Donald Tusk is hell-bent on seeking confrontation with President Andrzej Duda in a similar fashion to his previous altercations with former President Lech Kaczyński, a leading academic has claimed.

Prof. Mieczysław Ryba, the political scientist from Lublin Catholic University, told portal wPolityce.pl that President Duda is now the only politician of the right who still has some real executive power and who can defend the interests of all those who voted for the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) in the last election. 

Ryba predicted that Donald Tusk, who is very likely to be the new Polish prime minister, will pursue the same confrontational course as he adopted towards President Lech Kaczyński in the period 2007-2010 when he was last the head of the government. 

According to the academic, President Duda is also signaling to the Law and Justice (PiS) party and its voters that he will defend them, that he has no intention of drifting into retirement or obscurity after his term of office ends, and that he is ready to play an important role on the Polish right. 

Duda knows full well how Tusk behaved towards President Lech Kaczyński as at the time he served as a minister in the presidential chancellery. That is why he makes a point of reminding us that Tusk said one thing at the presidential palace and did another when outside of it, Ryba claimed.

“I think that also shaped Duda to a large extent as a politician,” the academic said.

He expressed his belief that Tusk’s experience of denigrating and humiliating Poland’s head of state means that Duda knows what to expect and is ready for it, even for the rumored return of Radosław Sikorski to the job of foreign minister, a move intended to be highly confrontational.

“This nomination, like others appearing in unofficial information concerning key ministries, is very confrontational. From these names, one can conclude that Donald Tusk intends to set the government against the president,” Ryba warned.

The academic added that Duda faces enormous responsibility for ensuring that Poland remains sovereign and that this will test his mettle and determine whether he has a future on the Polish right after he leaves office.

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