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Donald Tusk took power in the PO “without any voting and elections”? How it really was

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PiS spokesman Rafał Bochenek is wrong when he says that Donald Tusk took power in the Civic Platform “without any voting and elections”.

Spokesman for Law and Justice Rafał Bochenek he spoke On February 8, in radio Jedynka about “pushing” in the Civic Platform. He said the party was “strongly divided”. “We all know perfectly well that also in the Civic Platform, not everyone accepts Donald Tusk’s return to national politics and the fact that he has become the head of the PO again, in a very undemocratic way,” said Bochenek.

He removed Borys Budka from office and took over the entire party without any political decisions, without any voting or elections.

“A party that has a constitution on its banners, a party that talks so much about democracy, today it turns out that it introduces its leader in an octroyed, imposed way” – continued Rafał Bochenek. “And this is how he tries to act and impose his will on other party members,” he concluded.

In the spring and early summer of 2021, a discussion about the future of the party took place in the Civic Platform. Rafał Trzaskowski, the mayor of Warsaw, clearly expressed his aspirations for the role of chairman next to Donald Tusk. Eventually, as a result of an agreement between the leaders, Tusk became deputy chairman of PO. His election was approved by the National Council of the party. He also became acting chairman. In October of the same year, more than 11,000 people voted for him in the general party election of the chairman. PO members – 97.4 percent So it cannot be said that Tusk took power “without any voting and elections”.

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Power struggle in PO in 2021

Intensive talks about leadership in the party took place in Platforma Obywatelska at the turn of June and July 2021. On July 3, during a meeting of its National Council, Donald Tusk was to announce his return to Polish politics. At the time, the media speculated that Tusk would want to replace Borys Budka as chairman of the party. At the same time, the mayor of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski, spoke about his own aspirations. On June 30, in “Fakty po Faktach” on TVN24, he declared that he was ready to run for president. At the same time, he spoke about the need for an agreement and the authority of Tusk. “It doesn’t look like someone telling someone what’s going to happen, they just sit down, talk, work on scripts,” said Trzaskowski.

Trzaskowski: I am ready to run for president of the POTVN24

On July 1, “Fakty” TVN reported on a faction in the PO that wants internal elections in which Donald Tusk would face the president of Warsaw. “Which of you should be the leader should be decided by the members of the Platform,” Sławomir Nitras told Faktom. “Rafał Trzaskowski is ready to be the head of the Platform,” argued Agnieszka Pomaska. Other PO politicians were clearly in favor of giving the reins of PO to the former head of the European Council. “There are not many roles for him here, the only role is to be the head of the PO” – assessed Sławomir Neumann. “I would see him as our boss,” Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska told Faktom.

On July 1, Tusk, Trzaskowski and Budka met, but did not make any final decisions. A day later, “Facts” unofficially reported that Borys Budka confirmed then that he was ready to resign from the chairmanship of the party. Donald Tusk was to declare that he wanted to become the acting chairman, and Rafał Trzaskowski that he would run against Tusk in party elections.

On July 2, the three PO leaders met again. “Facts”, in turn, reported that at the afternoon meeting of the party’s leadership it was decided that quick elections after Borys Budka’s resignation would mean conflict and a weakening of the positive effect that Donald Tusk’s return to Polish politics was supposed to bring.

July 3, 2021 – The National Council of PO votes for the election of Tusk as deputy chairman

When was the final agreement reached? This must have happened within a dozen or so hours from the afternoon of July 2 to the morning of the next day.

On July 3, a meeting of the PO National Council was held, during which changes were made to the party’s management. Around noon, the spokesman for the Civic Platform, Jan Grabiec, informed the media that Borys Budka resigned from the position of chairmanand Ewa Kopacz and Bartosz Arłukowicz as deputy heads. Donald Tusk and Borys Budka were elected in their place as vice-presidents. From that moment, Donald Tusk performed the tasks of the party’s chairman. In the PO statute, there is a provision that in the event of the party’s head resigning, the oldest of the vice-presidents becomes the chairman, or possibly another vice-president by voting on the national board – it reminded the day before RMF24.pl.

Grabiec reported that 201 members of the National Council of PO voted for the election of Tusk as deputy chairman, no one was against. In the case of Budka, 189 votes were in favor of his election as deputy head of PO, 10 people were against.

October 23, 2021 – popular party vote for chairman

In September 2021 Polish Press Agency asked Rafał Trzaskowski about his plans. It was a few weeks before the planned general party elections for the PO chairman. “I proposed elections at the time Donald Tusk appeared. I believed that then it was worth talking about what to do next with the PO. The vast majority of my colleagues, however, wanted to focus primarily on party consolidation. There was no appetite for such a debate Since there was no appetite for debate, today let’s focus on how to win the parliamentary elections, I will not run in the elections just to prove something to someone, Trzaskowski told PAP.

On October 23, politicians from the Civic Platform elected a chairman, heads of regions and poviats. The only candidate for party leader was Donald Tusk. As the national election commissioner of PO Dorota Niedziela informed, more than 11,000 people voted for him. members of the Platform, i.e. 97.4 percent.

Donald Tusk has been the acting chairman of PO since July. Elections were ordered, although the term of office of Tusk’s predecessor, Borys Budka, expired in January 2022. However, the PO authorities decided to hold elections for the chairman, because in October elections were held at all levels of power in the party.

Rafał Bochenek was right about the struggle for power within the Civic Platform after Donald Tusk’s return to Polish politics. The Law and Justice spokesman also has the right to assess the political breakthrough in PO in July 2021 – including assessing how “democratic” it was or was not. However, Bochenek’s words about Tusk’s takeover of power “without any votes and elections” are not supported by facts and therefore we consider them false.

Author:Krzysztof Jablonowski

Main photo source: Piotr Nowak/PAP

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