Former Polish President of the European Union Donald Tusk returns to politics in his homeland. He was elected leader of the civic platform. Tusk was a co-founder and former leader of the Liberal Conservative Party, which was in government from 2007 to 2014.
Polish media have been speculating for weeks about Tusk’s return. In the next elections, most likely in 2023, he will face, among others, the incumbent ruling party PiS (Law and Justice) led by Jaroslav Kaczynski. At the party congress in Warsaw, he called this party “evil”.
“I know many Poles are waiting for this nightmare to end,” Tusk said. “Now evil is to blame in Poland and we are ready to fight evil.”
Tusk has also criticized PiS over disputes with the European Union, Germany and the Czech Republic, over the renewal of the license for a polluted lignite mine. Tusk described the relationship the Law and Justice government established with former US President Trump as a “foolish political investment.” “PiS has alienated the state from the current US administration.”
The leader of Tusk and PiS, Kaczynski, has been wrestling for many years. The Civic platform is pro-European and takes a more right-wing economic stance, while PiS is more left-wing economically, but it regularly clashes with Brussels on issues such as independence of the press and the judiciary and the rights of the LGBT community. At the beginning of this year, thousands of people took to the streets to protest anti-abortion laws.
PiS is leading in the polls, thanks in part to generous allocations and policy choices that are doing well in the hard-line Catholic country. The Civic Platform finished third in the polls, behind the new center-right movement Polonia 2050.
Civic Platform members have not yet formally endorsed Tusk’s leadership. It is not yet clear when that will happen.