Donald Tusk Comes Home
By reclaiming the leadership of Poland's liberal center-right party, former European Council President Donald Tusk has shaken up the Polish political scene and cast a shadow over some of its younger rising stars. To succeed, he will need to show that the Brussels technocracy didn't rub off on him.
WARSAW – Former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has returned to where he started, reclaiming his position as head of Civic Platform (PO), the party that he led to electoral victories in 2007 and 2011, before going on to serve as president of the European Council. His task now is to return Poland to Europe’s good graces.
With an overwhelming victory over Rafał Trzaskowski, the mayor of Warsaw and Poland’s most popular politician, Tusk has certainly returned with style and aplomb. But his victory has cast a shadow over a younger liberal politician who has been building his own political movement for some time.
It is hard to believe Trzaskowski’s claim that he does not want to break away and compete with PO (where he will continue to serve as deputy chairman). Under its previous chairman, Borys Budka, PO suffered a historic loss of support – falling to 15-20% in opinion polls – and has been overtaken by the journalist and activist Szymon Hołownia’s Poland 2050 movement (which currently stands at 20-25%).