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UPDATE: Poland's Tusk ready to take over as PM, unveils Cabinet ministers

08.12.2023 19:00
Poland's opposition leader Donald Tusk, who is expected to return as prime minister next week, has unveiled the lineup of his future Cabinet.  
Donald Tusk meets with reporters in parliament on Friday.
Donald Tusk meets with reporters in parliament on Friday.PAP/Paweł Supernak

Tusk, a former top European Union official, confirmed his prospective team of ministers at a news conference on Friday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

In the morning, he convened an informal meeting with his future Cabinet members to discuss policy, according to officials.

Tusk's liberal Civic Coalition (KO) group is poised to take power in Poland, forming a coalition government with the centre-right Third Way alliance and the Left, after an election in October.

Outlining his ministerial team on Friday, Tusk told reporters that the leaders of the Third Way and the Left would become deputy prime ministers.

Third Way co-leader Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz is set to become deputy prime minister and defence minister, while the Left's Krzysztof Gawkowski will be deputy prime minister and digitisation minister, the PAP news agency reported.

Meanwhile, MEP Radosław Sikorski is set to return as foreign minister, Tusk said.

Sikorski served as Poland's top diplomat in Tusk's previous government from 2007 to 2014.

Former Ombudsman Adam Bodnar will be justice minister, with a key role in "restoring the rule of law" in Poland, Tusk announced.

In the new Cabinet, the Civic Coalition will be represented by Andrzej Domański as finance minister, Barbara Nowacka as education minister, Tomasz Siemoniak as minister for the security services, Izabela Leszczyna as health minister, and Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz as culture minister, the PAP news agency reported.

Meanwhile, the new Ministry of Science will be headed by the Left's Dariusz Wieczorek, while Marzena Czarnecka will lead the new Ministry of Industry, based in the southern city of Katowice, Tusk told reporters. 

The Third Way's ministers will include Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz, in charge of EU funds and regional policy, and Paulina Hennig-Kloska, in charge of the climate and the environment, in addition to Dariusz Klimczak, who will take on the infrastructure brief, and Czesław Siekierski, who will serve as agriculture minister, the PAP news agency reported.

Tusk said his ministers could potentially remain in their posts "for the whole four-year term of office," but added that they would be "assessed on performance," and the Cabinet would be reshuffled if necessary.

Image: Polska Agencja Prasowa Image: Polska Agencja Prasowa (PAP)

New PM for Poland on Monday?

Mateusz Morawiecki, Poland's head of government since 2017, was reappointed prime minister by President Andrzej Duda in November, but his conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party lacks a majority in the new parliament.

If Morawiecki's Cabinet fails to secure a vote of confidence from MPs on Monday, the lower house, the Sejm, will appoint another prime minister.

A bloc of opposition parties has put forward Tusk as their candidate for prime minister.

At 4:30 p.m. on Monday, the lower house will launch the procedure to elect a new head of government, including a floor debate and a vote at 8 p.m., according to a schedule released by the Sejm Office.

On the following day, the new prime minister will address MPs at 9 a.m., outlining his planned policies and the proposed team of ministers, and ask the house for a vote of confidence in his Cabinet, the PAP news agency reported.

That vote is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Tuesday, December 12.

Tusk's Cabinet is then expected to be sworn in by the president on December 13.

Tusk on Friday urged the head of state to appoint his government on December 13, in time for a crucial summit of EU leaders, starting in Brussels the next day.

He said the summit would make decisions "of great importance to Poland's interests."

Tusk was Poland's prime minister from 2007 to 2014 before becoming president of the European Council, a role he held until 2019.


Source: PAPrp.pl