Tusk, Donald life and biography

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Tusk, Donald biography

Date of birth : 1957-04-22
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Gdańsk, Poland
Nationality : Polish
Category : Politics
Last modified : 2010-04-13
Credited as : Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, Polish political leader, Lech Kaczyński

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Donald Franciszek Tusk (born 22 April 1957) is a centre-right Polish politician, co-founder and chairman of the Civic Platform (Platforma Obywatelska), and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland.

Tusk was officially designated as Prime Minister on 9 November 2007 and took office on 16 November. His cabinet won the vote of confidence in the Sejm on 24 November 2007.

Tusk was one of several vice-speakers of the Sejm (2001–2005), the lower house of the Polish parliament. Prior to co-founding Civic Platform in 2001, he was a prominent member of the Liberal Democratic Congress (Kongres Liberalno-Demokratyczny) and the Freedom Union (Unia Wolności). He quit the Freedom Union after he failed to win the party's chairmanship in a race against Bronisław Geremek.

Tusk's political position combines strong support of a free market economy with little government interference. Tusk has been a member of the Sejm since 2004.

Tusk represented the constituencies of Gdynia-Słupsk (2001–2005) and Gdańsk (2005–2007). As of 2007 he is MP for Warsaw. The Civic Platform nominated him as their candidate for the Polish presidential election, 2005. He was defeated in the second round by a margin of 46:54 by Lech Kaczyński.

Prime Minister
Tusk and his Civic Platform party emerged victorious in the 2007 parliamentary election, defeating incumbent Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński‘s Law and Justice party. The Civic Platform’s electoral victory also pushed Law and Justice’s junior coalition partners, the League of Polish Families and Self-Defense of the Republic of Poland out of the Sejm altogether. Following the election, Tusk engaged in coalition talks with the Polish People's Party, emerging with a solid working parliamentary majority. On 9 November, President Lech Kaczyński, who had defeated Tusk in 2005’s presidential election, appointed Tusk to form a government. Tusk and his assembled cabinet were sworn in on 16 November, becoming the fourteenth prime minister of the Third Republic.Tusk and his newly-assembled cabinet survived a vote of confidence in the Sejm several days later on 24 November.

After being elected prime minister, relations between Tusk and President Lech Kaczyński were often acrimonious due to different political ideologies and the constitutional role of the presidency. Using presidential veto powers, Kaczyński blocked legislation drafted by the Tusk government, including pension reform, agricultural and urban zoning plans, and restructuring state television. Tusk and Kaczyński repeatedly sparred over issues ranging from European integration, homosexuality, foreign policy, to constitutional issues, with Tusk taking more socially liberal opinions than the conservative Kaczyński.

In his premiership, Tusk has proposed various reforms to the Polish constitution. In 2009, Tusk proposed changes to the power of the presidency, by abolishing the presidential veto. "The president should not have veto power. People make their decision in elections and then state institutions should not be in conflict.", said Tusk. Tusk again reiterated his desire for constitutional reform in February 2010, proposing that the presidential veto be overridden by a simple parliamentary majority rather than through a three-fifths vote. "Presidential veto could not effectively block the will of the majority in parliament, which won elections and formed the government", stated Tusk. Further constitutional reforms proposed by Tusk include reducing the Sejm from a membership of 460 to 300, "not only because of its savings, but also the excessive number of members' causes blurring certain plans and projects". Similarly, Tusk proposed radical changes to the Senate, preferring to abolish the upper house altogether, yet due to constitutional concerns and demands from the junior coalition Polish People's Party partner, Tusk proposed reducing the Senate from 100 to 49, while including former presidents to sit in the Senate for political experience and expertise in state matters. Parliamentary immunity for all members of the Sejm and Senate would also be stripped, except for in special situations. In addition, Tusk proposed that the prime minister's role in foreign policy decisions would be greatly expanded. By decreasing the president's role in governance, executive power would further be concentrated in the prime minister, directly responsible to the cabinet and Sejm, as well as avoiding confusion over Poland's representation at international or EU summits. The oppositon conservative Law and Justice party deeply criticized Tusk's constitutional reform proposals, opting in opposing legislation for the presidency to garner greater power over the prime minister.

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