“I will not run in the upcoming presidential election,” Tusk, who is now a top European Union official, told reporters in Brussels on Tuesday.
"I am announcing this decision today because time is pressing, and I don't want to hinder the opposition in any way in the process of selecting candidates," he added, as quoted by Poland’s PAP news agency.
Poland’s largest opposition party, the Civic Platform, signalled last week it was considering holding a primary election to select a presidential candidate unless Tusk, its former leader, decided to enter the race.
Tusk told reporters on Tuesday that the opposition stood a chance of winning the presidency but he said it needed “a candidate free from the baggage of difficult, unpopular decisions.”
He added that he has been “burdened with such baggage” dating back to the time when he was prime minister.
Tusk was prime minister of Poland from 2007 to 2014, when he resigned to become president of the European Council, a key European Union leadership position.
His term in Brussels ends on November 30.
Meanwhile, Poland's ruling conservatives have reaffirmed their support for the incumbent president, who is expected to seek reelection in May.
According to several recent surveys, Duda would beat Tusk in the second round of Poland’s 2020 presidential election if both of them entered the race.
Source: PAP, TVN24