Poland’s PM Begins Building New Government

Posted October 10th, 2011 at 11:10 am (UTC-5)
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Poland's prime minister, Donald Tusk, has turned his attention to building a new government coalition after winning Sunday's elections.

With the victory, the center-right Mr. Tusk becomes the first prime minister since the fall of Soviet communism 22 years ago to win a second consecutive term in Poland.

With balloting results nearly complete Monday, Mr. Tusk's Civic Platform Party won some 39 percent of the vote, yielding 206 seats in the country's 460-seat lower parliament. As in his first term, Mr. Tusk will have to seek out a coalition partner to form a government, similar to the one forged with the Polish People's Party in 2007. He said talks will begin immediately.

The Polish People's Party took just over 8 percent of the vote to earn 28 seats, and could again combine with the Civic Platform Party to give them a majority in the lower house with 234 seats. Mr. Tusk's nearest rival, the conservative Law and Justice Party, trailed with 30 percent of the vote, or 158 seats.

The new Palikot Movement Party picked up a surprising 10 percent of the vote and 40 seats with support for gay rights, abortion, legalization of soft drugs and attacks on the Roman Catholic Church. One of the party's incoming lawmakers is the first transsexual in Poland's parliament.

The only other party to make it into parliament is the Democratic Left Alliance with 27 seats and around 8 percent of the vote.