Former European Union leader and former Prime Minister Donald Tusk has been elected president of the strongest party in Poland’s fragmented opposition.
Tusk, 64, said he was returning to Polish politics and the Civic Platform opposition party to help fight the “evil” of the current right-wing government.
Tusk co-founded the Civic Platform, a liberal center party, in 2001. He ruled Poland for eight years, most often with Tusk as prime minister, before the current Conservative team gained power in 2015.
“I know that many Poles were waiting for this black dream to end,” Tusk said of the current Law and Justice party government that has put Poland on a collision course with the EU.
“Today, evil reigns in Poland and we are ready to fight this evil,” Tusk said.
The EU and its court have opened proceedings against the current Polish government, saying that its changes to the judicial system and opposition to some EU decisions, including the relocation of migrants, have gone against the principles of the bloc of 27 members.
Tusk said his return was dictated by the conviction that Civic Platform was “necessary as force … that it can win the battle with Law and Justice over the future of Poland.”
“There is no chance of victory without the Platform,” Tusk said.
He said he also had a sense of responsibility for the party he had founded and led for many years before taking over as President of the EU Council in 2014.
The current government of Law and Justice and two small partners continues to lead opinion polls thanks to their generous family bonds and conservative policies that attract the Catholic majority in society.
But the pressure of accumulated disputes with the EU and an internal struggle for power and influence have visibly shaken unity and loyalty in the coalition, which recently lost its majority in parliament.