Tusk says his party ready to defeat ruling camp alone

Zbigniew Meissner/PAP

Donald Tusk, the leader of Poland's biggest opposition grouping, Civic Coalition (KO), has said KO will take on the responsibility of trying to defeat the governing Law and Justice party in this year’s general election, if other opposition parties are reluctant to run on a single ticket.

Opinion polls show that Poland's opposition can only win the election, which is scheduled for the autumn, if it unites, but so far KO has failed to convince other opposition parties to run on a joint ticket.

"I will not wait indefinitely, if the other opposition parties want to go to the elections separately, someone has to take on the responsibility to defeat PiS," Tusk told a Wednesday meeting with entrepreneurs in Zawiercie, southern Poland.

He said that KO is "larger than all the others put together" and hence has "less reason to seek to join forces."

"I do not have to worry about whether the Civic Coalition will pass the electoral threshold... All possible ratings show that if someone can really equalise these odds in the elections and defeat PiS, and if we look at individual parties, it is only we who can do that," Tusk said.

The KO leader said that he has used every possible opportunity to convince the entire opposition to "join our forces ... because the key in these elections is to come first."

"If they do not decide to run on a joint ticket, nothing relieves me from the obligation to prepare the Civic Coalition for the elections in such a way that it will win one way or another," he added.

"I am absolutely convinced that if they want to go separately, someone must take on the responsibility of defeating PiS," Tusk added.