The man who knocked the Polish Prime Minister out of office is to begin work this week on forming a coalition. The centre-right Civic Platform will begin talks with the middle-of-the-road Peasants’ Party. And the Civic Platform leader Donald Tusk is expected to be named the new Polish PM. Over two years, the Kaczynski twins – ex-premier Jaroslaw and current president Lech – fell into numerous arguments with EU partners.
The president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barosso said: “My congratulations to Donald Tusk, I know (him) well. I know well his European convictions and commitment. I’m sure that we will go (on) with a very good co-operation with the new government in Poland. I never had doubts about the commitment of Polish people to Europe and to democracy.”
Quarrelling over cod-quotas, an anti-death penalty day, even threatening to delay the EU treaty at the last minute, their nationalist agenda won the Kaczynskis a reputation as trouble-makers. They even argued for greater voting rights in the EU, invoking Poland’s suffering under Nazi occupation. But the message from the Polish people was clear.
A record number of Poles voted to reject the Law and Justice party – with the vast majority of votes counted, 41 per cent had cast their ballots for Tusk, and 32 per cent for Kaczyinski.