President Andrzej Duda has nominated the current Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki of the conservative PiS to form a government despite the opposition camp having jointly won more seats in the parliamentary elections. Duda, who was a leading member of the PiS before becoming president, said he was continuing the excellent tradition according to which it is the leading parliamentary group that gets the first chance to form a government. Commentators find his stance unconstructive.

Wasting time

Rzeczpospolita complains:

“President Andrzej Duda has failed to distance himself from the interests of his former party. His decision to task Mateusz Morawiecki with forming a government gives the right-wing party at least a few more weeks in power and the vague prospect of forming a parliamentary majority. Vague because there are currently no reasonable indications that such a majority could be achieved.”

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The president wants a power struggle

Der Tagesspiegel finds Duda's behaviour rather pathetic:

“The hopeful expectation would have been: the president has a triple incentive to behave constructively: Respect for the will of the voters, responsibility for national interests plus personal ambitions for a - perhaps also international - office after the presidency. ... Duda has made a different decision. He is not seeking the kind of understanding that should be a matter of course in a democracy, because today's opposition can be tomorrow's government. Duda is clearly intent on a power struggle. What a pity. Poland deserves better.”

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According to the exit polls, the former national-conservative ruling party PiS has emerged as the strongest force in Poland's regional and local elections.

Duda positioning himself as leader of the right

For Tygodnik Powszechny the decision portends a difficult coexistence:

“The president's decision sheds light on how the cooperation between the new parliamentary majority and the president, who remains loyal to the PiS, will develop. The [Tusk] coalition probably won't be able to count on a constructive coexistence with the president, nor can it expect him to sign laws dissolving the National Media Council or separating the functions of the Attorney General and the Minister of Justice. The future governing coalition will have to come to terms with the fact that it will not so much be dealing with a president in the Presidential Palace, but with a candidate for the future leadership of the right.”

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