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Donald Tusk following the vote on his election as Prime Minister of Poland in the Sejm on Dec. 11, 2023. (Donald Tusk / X)
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Polish Civic Coalition leader Donald Tusk was elected as Poland's prime minister, following a vote in the country's parliament, the Sejm, on Dec. 11.

248 lawmakers voted in favor of Tusk becoming prime minister, while 201 voted against.

Mateusz Morawiecki, who was prime minister since 2017 as a member of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, lost a vote of confidence earlier on Dec. 11, ending political wrangling in Poland's government that has followed the Oct. 15 parliamentary election.

PiS won the most seats in the election but failed to gain an outright majority, winning 194 seats in a 460-member parliament. In Poland, the largest party is usually given the initial right to attempt to form a government.

Polish President Andrzej Duda officially appointed Morawiecki as the proposed head of the new government on Nov. 27. It was expected to be a short-lived tenure, as lawmakers predicted that Morawiecki would not survive the confidence vote.

Duda's decision to allow PiS to attempt to form a government delayed the formation of a Tusk-led government by nearly two months. Tusk said on Oct. 24 that his three-party coalition, made up of 248 MPs from center-right and left parties, was ready to form a government.

In a speech following the vote, Tusk thanked Poland and said it was a wonderful day, "not for me, but for all those who throughout these many years deeply believed that things would get even better and that we would chase away the darkness and evil."

"We'll fix everything together," Tusk said. "From tomorrow, we will be able to right the wrongs so that everyone, without exception, can feel at home."

Former Prime Minister and Law and Justice party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski reportedly stormed the podium after the speech, claiming that Tusk was a "German agent."

Tusk is set to present his cabinet to the Sejm on the morning of Dec. 12.

President Volodymyr Zelensky congratulated Tusk on X, posting that "Ukraine and Poland's future lies in unity, mutual assistance, and strategic partnership in order to defeat our common enemy."

"When we stand together, both our nations' freedom is unbeatable," Zelensky said.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also congratulated Tusk and said on X that his "experience and strong commitment to our European values will be precious in forging a stronger Europe, for the benefit of the Polish people."

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