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Donald Tusk new Poland prime minister

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s newly elected prime minister, Donald Tusk, is scheduled to deliver his inaugural speech to parliament on Tuesday morning and present a Cabinet that will then face a confidence vote later in the day.

Tusk, a centrist leader who was previously prime minister from 2007 to 2014, returns as the head of a broad alliance that spans the ideological spectrum from left-wing via his own centrist Civic Platform party to more conservative parties.

He was elected by parliament on Monday and faces many challenges, from restoring democratic standards in his own country, working for the release of European Union funding frozen due to democratic backsliding by his predecessors and facing the implications of a war just across Poland’s eastern border in Ukraine.

One of his easier challengers will be restoring ties with the EU, which were badly strained during the past eight years of rule by a national conservative government.

Tusk, who served as European Council president from 2014 to 2019 and has strong connections in Brussels, is expected to improve Warsaw’s standing in the bloc’s capital.

Tusk’s ascension to power came nearly two months after an election which was won by a coalition of parties that ran on separate tickets, but promised to work together under Tusk’s leadership to restore democratic standards and improve ties with allies.

Donald Tusk shows a heart with his hands to lawmakers after he was elected as Poland’s Prime Minister at the parliament in Warsaw, Poland on Monday. PHOTO: AP