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Polish opposition says ready to form government

WARSAW (AFP) – Poland’s liberal opposition that won a majority in the general election said yesterday it was ready to forge a coalition and urged the country’s conservative president to entrust it with forming a new government.

“I’m counting on constructive cooperation with the president and on quick decisions. The Polish people are waiting for it,” opposition leader Donald Tusk said as he confirmed he was the bloc’s prime minister candidate.

Poland’s ruling populist Law and Justice (PiS) party emerged first after the October 15 vote, but fell short of a parliamentary majority and has little chance to forge a coalition.

Yesterday, Poland’s President Andrzej Duda, allied with PiS, met with party leaders to determine whom he would tap to form a government.

The leaders of the liberal opposition parties have jointly called on Duda to nominate Tusk.

“We are determined to form a majority, together we will nominate today and tomorrow at the president’s office our candidate for prime minister, the leader of Civic Platform, Donald Tusk,” co-leader of the centrist Third Way party Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz said.

“We will assure the president that we have a majority to elect the prime minister and to appoint the speaker” of the Sejm Lower House of Parliament and the Senate, he told reporters.

Civic Platform and Third Way intend ally with Left, the three parties jointly having 248 lawmakers in the 460-seat Parliament.

Tusk, formerly president of the European Council and Poland’s prime minister, is travelling to Brussels today.

He had pledged to rebuild relations with the European Union and unblock funds frozen due to a standoff over the rule of law in Poland.

Polish opposition leader Donald Tusk. PHOTO: AP