Polish election winners to push for reform
(REUTERS) - Poland's centre-right election victors will start talks this week to form a ruling coalition to push through economic reforms and bring the country back into the EU mainstream, party leaders said on Monday.
The centre-right Civic Platform defeated the conservative Law and Justice party of Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski in Sunday's election after a record number of Poles voted to reject social conservatism and isolationism.
Platform leader Donald Tusk, expected to be the new prime minister, will start talks in the second half of this week with the centrist Peasants' Party on forming a new government for the European Union's biggest ex-communist state.
Party officials said a final decision on a coalition would be taken on November 10.
"We will have to form the broadest possible formula for cooperating with all who wanted to remove Law and Justice from power," Bronislaw Komorowski, the Platform's deputy leader.
According to partial results from the electoral commission, the Platform won over 41 percent of the vote, giving it 209 seats in the lower house -- short of an outright majority of 231 seats. Final results are due on Tuesday.
With 99 percent of the vote counted, the Peasants' Party had almost 9 percent, giving the likely government a total of 240 seats in the 460-seat lower house, the Sejm.
The Peasants have signalled readiness to join a coalition and their leader, Waldemar Pawlak, made clear the party backed the Platform's push for cuts to the 2008 budget plan.