Polish president gives Mateusz Morawiecki opportunity
After three weeks of elections, Polish President Andrzej Duda says he will allow incumbent Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki to form a new government.
He faces a difficult search for allies to reach a majority of 231 with his Law and Justice (PiS) party.
The former Prime Minister Donald Tusk led three pro-opposition parties to 248 seats.
In the event that Mr Morawiecki is unable to assemble enough allies, Mr Tusk might be given the chance to assemble a majority.
He leads the Law and Justice (PiS) party, which won last month’s elections to the lower house of parliament but fell far short of a majority.
In parliament, all other parties have pledged to not support PiS.
The largest party had the first opportunity to form a government after previous elections. Given the difficulty Mr Morawiecki would have in securing a majority, the opposition had argued that Mr Tusk should be given the chance to form a coalition.
In consultation with every party represented in parliament, Mr Duda, a PiS ally, made the decision.
The PiS government has been in power since 2015. The rule of law and abortion rights have been frequently contested issues between Poland and the EU during that time.
In response to concerns that the PiS government is undermining the rule of law, Brussels has blocked a total of €36bn (£30bn) of EU funds for Poland.
Earlier this month, Mr Morawiecki said he believed a decision by the Constitutional Tribunal to ban abortion in almost all cases – issued in response to a demand by PiS MPs – was a mistake.
There is still 14 days left for a confidence vote to be held in Parliament. Parliament meets on Monday.