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Poland's president starts talks to form a coalition, but who's in pole position?

People checking the results of elections in Poland, in which more than 73% of eligible voters took part. October, 2023
People checking the results of elections in Poland, in which more than 73% of eligible voters took part. October, 2023 Copyright Czarek Sokolowski/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Czarek Sokolowski/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
By Magdalena Chodownik
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With no party winning an overall majority in a poll that saw a record turnout, the shape of the next government could come down to negotiatons.

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The leader of the Polish opposition, Donald Tusk, asked the country's President Andrzej Duda to let him form a new government on Tuesday.

"The Poles expect quick decisions," Tusk, the leader of the Civic Coalition party (KO), said. "We are ready [...] to work at any time."

But there are a number of hurdles to overcome in the days and weeks ahead as Civic Coalition and its potential allies try to form a new government.

Duda is an ally of the Law and Justice Party that lost its majority in the 15 October poll, despite winning the highest number of votes of any individual party.

According to Poland's constitution, a new government should be formed within 30 days of the election.

A coalition of three centre-left parties collectively won a majority, but Law and Justice may try to break up or underline the coalition.

"We also have the issue of the President, who is known to have been supported by our party, and it is certain that many of the solutions which are being proposed by the opposition will be vetoed by the President," said Kazimierz Smolinski, of the Law and Justice party.

Smolinksi said his party had not yet ruled out his party finding a way to form a government.

At the next session of the Sejm in mid-November President Duda is expected to appoint the new Prime Minister.

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