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Poland’s prime minister, Cabinet to resign Tuesday

September 8, 2014

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s president will accept the Cabinet’s resignation this week and appoint a candidate for prime minister to form a new government from the ruling coalition, the president’s spokeswoman said Monday.

The change is needed after European Union leaders chose Prime Minister Donald Tusk to be the next head of the European Council, starting in December. Still, the shift is raising major questions about Poland’s government as the nation’s sense of security is shaken by an armed conflict in neighboring Ukraine involving Russian-backed separatists.

The resignations of Tusk and his Cabinet are expected Tuesday. The president hopes to accept them Thursday, then meet with Parliament speaker Ewa Kopacz of Tusk’s ruling Civic Platform party, spokeswoman Joanna Trzaska-Wieczorek said.

Kopacz is the coalition’s candidate for new premier but needs President Bronislaw Komorowski’s endorsement, she added.

Tusk, Poland’s longest-serving prime minister in the democratic era, is leaving shortly before local elections and one year before his second term ends and key parliamentary elections are held. His Civic Platform party has been losing support following a string of unpopular reforms and opinion polls are now showing a slight advantage for the nationalist Law and Justice party.

Kopacz will have two weeks to build her Cabinet. In October it should be voted in by parliament.

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