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Poland's governing PiS party 'cannot support' Tusk bid for EU leader

PR dla Zagranicy
Roberto Galea 04.03.2017 17:40
The governing Law and Justice (PiS) party in Poland has officially said the country will not support Donald Tusk's bid for a second term as the head of the European Council.
European Council President Donald Tusk. Photo: European CouncilEuropean Council President Donald Tusk. Photo: European Council

PiS accuses Tusk of, among other issues, violating the principle of neutrality against a Member State, engaging in “EU actions against Polish interests”, as well as supporting the Polish opposition.

Donald Tusk, a former prime minister of Poland, co-founded the Civic Platform (PO) party which is now the largest opposition grouping in the country's parliament.

Commenting on Tusk's alleged actions to support the opposition, PiS spokeswoman Beata Mazurek said that PO represents “a special kind of opposition, which does not hide its anti-state character”.

At least two senior PiS officials think that MEP Jacek Saryusz-Wolski would be a better candidate for European Council president than Tusk.

The Financial Times has reported that Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło has sounded out other EU member states over a proposal to replace Tusk with Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, a PO MEP.

PiS leader Jarosław Kaczyński said in January that Poland should not support Tusk's bid for the post. “He is in favour of solutions that are extremely harmful to Poland,” Kaczyński said.

He added that Tusk was in favour of financial penalties for European Union member states that do not accept a quota of refugees, which the Polish government strongly opposes.

“We simply cannot support such a person,” he added.

Tusk’s 30-month term as the President of the European Council is due to end on 31 May. (rg/di/pk)

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