28th Oct 2016

Tusk is a big problem, says Poland party chief

  • "I imagine that the Polish government does not support Donald Tusk's second term in the European Council," says Kaczynski. (Photo:

Former Polish prime minister Donald Tusk may not get the support of the current government in Warsaw for a second term as president of the European Council, the head of the ruling party has said.

"Tusk is a big problem," said Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the head of the Law and Justice (PiS) party.

  • Tusk (r) with Lech Kaczynski in 2008 (Photo: The Council of the EU)

"I imagine that the Polish government will not support Donald Tusk's second term in the European Council," he told the Polska-Times daily in an interview that will be published in full on Friday.

Tusk, a member of the main opposition Civic Platform, was elected in 2014 as head of the European Council, the EU leaders' body, for two-and-a-half years.

Poland cannot veto Tusk's re-election because the vote is by a qualified majority of EU leaders. But a lack of support would weaken him politically.

In the interview, Kaczynski refers to an inquiry examining whether to charge Tusk over the 2010 plane crash that killed Lech Kaczynski - a former president and Jaroslaw Kaczynski's twin brother.

In April 2010, the plane carrying Kaczynski and some 80 Polish high officials crashed while trying to land in bad weather in the Russian city of Smolensk.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski and a part of PiS maintain that Russia and some Polish officials were responsible for the disaster.

"Should such a person be at the head of the European Council? I have profound doubts," Kaczynski said about Tusk.

A previous government report blamed pilot error for the crash, and Tusk has not commented on the accusations.

Kaczynski, who briefly served as prime minister when his brother was president, is today only an MP. But he is widely regarded as the power behind prime minister Beata Szydlo and president Andrzej Duda and the instigator of the country's conservative turn.


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