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Polish gov't ministers to run in EU elections

24.04.2024 18:30
Three ministers from the senior partner in Poland's coalition government will run in the European Parliament elections, officials in Warsaw announced on Wednesday, urging Poles to vote in the upcoming ballot, seen as one of the most important in Europe in decades.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymański

Poland’s elections to the European Parliament will take place on June 9, under a decision signed by President Andrzej Duda.

The elections will provide the country's pro-European Civic Coalition (KO) with another opportunity to consolidate its political support after it failed to defeat the Eurosceptic conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party in local elections this month, the Reuters news agency reported.

"These elections to the European Parliament are one of the most important in the postwar history of Poland," Prime Minister Donald Tusk told his party on Wednesday, invoking the war in neighbouring Ukraine.

"They have never been so important and never had such a radical impact on our everyday lives as they do now, during the war, amid threats that Europe could not even imagine just a few years ago," he added.

Tusk announced that his Interior Minister Marcin Kierwiński, State Assets Minister Borys Budka and Culture Minister Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz would stand in the European elections.

The announcement of their bids sets the stage for a potential government reshuffle, Reuters reported.

Sienkiewicz, who has spearheaded far-reaching changes to state media under Tusk, announced his resignation as culture minister.

"In connection with the approval of the lists of candidates for the European Parliament by the National Council of my Civic Platform (PO) party, I tendered my resignation as Minister of Culture and National Heritage to Prime Minister Donald Tusk," he wrote on the X social media platform.

"Today, the European Union needs tough realism and defence of Polish interests by people who are credible and believe in Europe," said Tusk.

Around the EU, voting to select a new batch of MEPs will take place between June 6 and 9, Polish state news agency PAP has reported.

The ballot will be the third in an electoral marathon in Poland, following national parliamentary elections last autumn and local elections this month.

The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union, of which Poland has been a member since 2004.

Poles will go to the ballot box in June to elect 53 MEPs.

Poland became a member of the EU on May 1, 2004, a historic step that underlined the country’s realignment with the West after decades of communist rule.


Source: IAR, PAP/PAPReuters