Polish president taps conservative Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki to form another government

WARSAW, Poland — Poland’s president has tapped the current prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki of the Law and Justice party, to try to form the country’s next government.

President Andrzej Duda made the announcement Monday following a national election in which the right-wing Law and Justice lost its parliamentary majority to three allied opposition parties but emerged as the single biggest vote-getter.

An ally of the current government, Duda had said the two candidates for prime minister were Morawiecki and main opposition leader Donald Tusk, a former Polish prime minister and top European Union official.

His decision is expected to delay the establishment of a functioning government because lawmakers aren’t likely to give Morawiecki the necessary approval for his Cabinet.

Duda stressed that Morawiecki’s party should be given the chance to stay in power since it won more votes than any other single party.

The president said that if Morawiecki is unsuccessful, he will transfer the mission of forming the government to the second-largest party in parliament, Tusk’s Civic Coalition.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

Polish President Andrzej Duda is expected Monday to announce who he is tapping to try to form a new government after opposition parties collectively won a majority in parliament in a national election last month, an aide said.

The announcement will trigger the process of forming a new government following the election in which the ruling right-wing Law and Justice party lost its parliamentary majority to three allied opposition parties but emerged as the single biggest vote-getter. This has fed speculation over Duda’s choice.

“Following consultations and after deep consideration, President Andrzej Duda has taken his decision regarding the so-called first step” (in forming a government), presidential aide Marcin Mastalerek said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

He said the decision was “final” and not subject to pleas from politicians, whom he advised to “calmly watch the evening address.”

An ally of the current government, Duda has said the two candidates for prime minister are the current conservative premier, Mateusz Morawiecki, and former prime minister and main opposition leader Donald Tusk, a former top European Union official.

Under Poland’s constitution, the first step in forming a government is for the president to “designate” the prime minister and task him with nominating a Cabinet, which must then be approved by parliament. Only then can the president formally appoint the prime minister and the government. If the Cabinet fails to gain approval, the process is repeated with another prime minister-designate.

However, constitution experts were saying Monday that Duda cannot designate a new prime minister before the new parliament convenes for the first time on Nov. 13 and formally accepts the resignation of Morawiecki and his Cabinet.

In the new parliament, Law and Justice will be far short of a majority and unable to pass its own laws. But its leaders insist it should be given a chance to continue to govern because it received the largest share of the vote. It will have 194 votes in the 460-member lower house but has no potential coalition partner.

Tusk represents the aggregated opposition majority that won 248 seats, but he was the target of vicious government attacks and unfriendly comments by Duda during the election campaign. The opposition bloc consists of Tusk’s centrist Civic Coalition, the Third Way – a coalition of the agrarian Polish People’s Party and centrist Poland 2050 – and the Left party.

Some commentators think Duda may opt for a candidate who would offer the possibility of constructive cooperation during the nearly two years remaining in his term.

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