After nine years out of power, Donald Tusk is back — securing the support of the Polish parliament on Monday evening to head a new government.
The vote was 248 in favor and 201 against, cementing his return nearly two months after a coalition of opposition parties led by the former European Council president delivered a surprising win in the October 15 national election.
“I want to thank the Polish people,” Tusk told cheering MPs. “Thank you Poland, this is a great day, not for me, but for all those who for these long years deeply believed that it will still be better, that we will chase away the darkness, chase away the evil.”
Earlier on Monday, Poland’s outgoing Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki lost a vote of confidence 266-190 in the lower house of parliament, officially putting an end to the nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party’s eight-year stint in power.
That paves the way for Tusk to forge a centrist, pro-EU government from his Civic Coalition party, the liberal Poland 2050 party, the conservative agrarian Polish People’s Party and the Left.
Tusk is set to present his Cabinet to parliament and lay out his governing program on Tuesday morning, after which MPs will hold a vote of confidence. President Andrzej Duda’s office said he would be prepared to swear in the new government as of Wednesday morning.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen congratulated Tusk on Monday evening.
“Your experience and strong commitment to our European values will be precious in forging a stronger Europe, for the benefit of the Polish people,” she said on X. “I look forward to working with you, starting with this week’s important EUCO.”