Donald Tusk seeks second term as European Council president

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Former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has said he wants to remain President of the European Council for a second term.

Tusk was speaking on Friday at a summit of EU leaders in Malta. His 30-month term as European Council head is due to end on 31 May.

Tusk said “many leaders” had offered their support for him, adding that he was ready to continue in his post, although that would depend on the decision “of all the prime ministers and presidents.”

The head of Poland’s governing party said last month that Tusk cannot be supported for a second term.

Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of Poland’s ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS), said that Tusk “is in favour of solutions that are extremely harmful to Poland.”

Kaczyński said Tusk supported financial penalties for European Union member states that do not accept a quota of refugees, a move which the Polish government strongly opposes.

“We simply cannot support such a person,” Kaczyński added.

Meanwhile, Polish Radio has reported that German Chancellor Angela Merkel will voice support during talks in Warsaw next week for Tusk remaining as President of the European Council for a second term.