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Poland's opposition, victorious in elections, proposes new government

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk October 24, 2023 8:27 PM 2 min read
Donald Tusk, the leader of Poland's Civic Coalition party, speaks during an election night rally at the party headquarters in Warsaw, Poland, on Oct. 15, 2023. (Damian Lemanski/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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The three largest opposition parties in Poland, having defeated the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party in parliamentary elections on Oct. 15, are ready to form a government, opposition leader Donald Tusk said on Oct. 24.

Although PiS won the most seats, it did not win an outright majority and is lacking enough potential partners to form a government.

Tusk's three-party coalition, which involves center-right and left parties, has 248 seats to PiS's 194, out of a total of the 460-member lower house of parliament.

Polish opposition wins elections, according to final count
The Polish Electoral Commission released the results of the Oct. 15 election. The ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party won 35.4% of the vote, while the three opposition parties together received 53.6%.

They still must ask Polish President Andrzej Duda to form a government. The announcement on Oct. 24 was seen as a declaration that only Tusk's coalition has the votes to do so.

However, there is still a process, and although Duda is independent, he has previously been an official PiS candidate and has remained affiliated with the party.

Duda may be able to delay the creation of a new government by almost two months if he allows PiS to make what would likely be a futile attempt to form its own coalition.

The largest party is usually given the initial right to attempt to form a government.

Tusk and his allies appealed to Duda to hasten the process. "I count on constructive cooperation with the president," he said, emphasizing that "Poles are waiting for quick decisions."

Poland has been roundly supportive of Ukraine across the political spectrum, including from PiS, even though tensions have risen in recent months around diplomatic spats and trade disputes.

Tusk has also called for unwavering support for Ukraine, saying that a Ukrainian victory was in the Polish national interest.

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