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08 February 2019

Bloomberg: EU's Tusk plans Polish comeback for 2019 ballot, paper says

European Council President Donald Tusk is planning to return home to Poland to galvanize the opposition in this year’s general election to challenge a nationalist ruling party that’s clashed with Brussels over democratic standards, newspaper Rzeczpospolita reported.

Tusk, who sets the agenda for European Union summits and has played a key role in Brexit negotiations, hasn’t said whether he plans to return to front-line domestic politics after his term in Brussels ends in December. His spokesman said the report was "false." Rzeczpospolita said Friday that Tusk would “directly engage” in a new political project to consolidate groups against the Law & Justice government, but it didn’t specify a role.

Formerly Poland’s longest-serving prime minister and leader of the opposition Civic Platform party, Tusk, 61, is widely considered the strongest opponent to Law & Justice party’s re-election drive after repeatedly besting it in elections since 2007. Nevertheless, his potential return to combative domestic politics is fraught with risks, according to Jacek Sokolowski, a political scientist at Jagiellonian University in Krakow.

“It’s not clear if there’s anyone better than Tusk to consolidate the opposition, but it’s also far from clear if he’ll be able to pull this off,” Sokolowski said by phone. “This new initiative, if confirmed, could give him a trampoline to enter local politics, but he’d have to be all-in to have a chance. There’s no going back to any plush job in Brussels if he loses.” [...]

Full article on Bloomberg

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