All eyes are on the Polish Parliament with the appointment of Tusk as Prime Minister

WARSAW (Reuters) – Former European Council President Donald Tusk is expected to be appointed Poland’s prime minister on Monday during a parliamentary session expected to capture the nation’s attention.

Poland, a member of the European Union and NATO, has witnessed an unprecedented level of interest in the work of the legislature since the October 15 elections that gave the majority to a broad coalition of pro-EU parties headed by Tusk.

Subscriptions to the Chamber’s YouTube channel have increased significantly since it resumed work, to about 439,000 on Sunday.

Some sessions attracted more than a million viewers on the platform, and one Warsaw cinema even decided to show Monday’s session on the big screen. Tickets were sold out when Reuters called to inquire on Sunday.

“Monday and Tuesday are some of the most important days in Polish history since 1989,” said Michal Kobusko, deputy head of the Poland 2050 party, which is part of the coalition preparing to seize power, referring to the year in which communist rule ended.

Current Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s nationalist Law and Justice Party came first in the election, and President Andrzej Duda, an ally of Law and Justice, gave it the first chance to form a government.

However, this seems almost impossible because Morawiecki lacks a majority and all other parties have ruled out working with PiS, whose eight years in power have been marked by numerous disputes with the EU over issues including judicial independence that have led to billions in money siphoning. Frozen.

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Morawiecki will deliver a speech to the council on Monday, which will be followed by a vote of confidence.

While his hopes of remaining prime minister appear slim, PiS lawmaker Radoslav Vogel says his speech will be an opportunity to showcase the party’s vision for the nation.

“This will be a very good framework for our future political endeavours, it will show our voters what we want to achieve, and if someone else is elected prime minister, this will be a very good way to make comparisons,” he said.

PiS has sought to contrast its mix of conservative social values ​​and left-leaning economic policies with Tusk’s liberal platform, which it says is beholden to foreign interests and indifferent to the well-being of less well-off Poles.

If Morawiecki loses the vote, the task of choosing a new prime minister will fall to parliament, where Tusk has clear majority support. Then he will deliver a speech to the hall on Tuesday.

Showman

Poland’s October elections signaled Poland’s return to the European mainstream after eight years of PiS rule, which critics say undermined the independence of the courts, turned state-owned media into a propaganda pipeline, and stoked prejudice against minorities such as immigrants and the LGBT community. .

“Many people… consider what happened in Poland a kind of miracle,” said Katarzyna Lobenauer, a lawmaker for the Tusk Civic coalition, referring to the record turnout that gave the opposition a majority despite state hostility. -Controlled media.

“So the Poles are interested in what happens in parliament, in this change.”

Some observers also attributed the increased interest in appointing a celebrity as Speaker of Parliament.

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Simon Holonia’s no-nonsense debate mode has charmed many viewers who first knew him as the host of a prime-time talent show.

“Simon Holonia, the star of the show, turns the scene into a suitable spectacle,” said Anna Materska Sosnowska, a professor of political science at the University of Warsaw.

“He makes fun of people, he jokes, but he does it in a very civilized way.”

However, not everyone is a fan.

“From the standpoint of a humble parliamentarian, I would prefer a president who is not entirely focused on information and entertainment,” Vogel said.

Reporting by Alan Sharlish, Editing by Ross Russell

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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