06:54 GMT25 February 2020
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    Poland's opposition party ready to start coalition talks - 1

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    (Adds Russian Foreign Ministry reaction in paragraphs 7-10)

    GDANSK, October 23 (RIA Novosti) - The leader of Poland's center-right opposition party Civic Platform announced on Tuesday that he is ready to open preliminary coalition talks.

    "I suppose that I will be asked to begin the formation of a new coalition government at today's party leadership meeting. I am ready for this," Donald Tusk said.

    He said negotiations will begin on Wednesday with the chairman of the Polish Peasant Party, Waldemar Pawlak.

    Poland's State Electoral Commission is expected to announce the final results of early parliamentary elections, which took place on October 21, within the next few hours.

    According to preliminary results, the center-right opposition party Civic Platform has 41 percent of the vote, giving it a resounding victory over the conservative prime minister's ruling Law and Justice Party, with 32 percent. Accordingly, Civic Platform will have 209 seats in the 460-seat lower house, which is not enough for an absolute majority. It could, however, form a government by teaming up with the Polish Peasant Party, which won 31 seats. Prime Minister Kaczynski's Law and Justice party won 166 seats.

    Bogdan Zdrojewski, leader of the Civic Platform parliamentary faction, said coalition talks will last until November 10, when the party council is to make a final decision.

    Moscow is ready for constructive cooperation with any new Polish government, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

    "We respect the...choice of the Polish voters, and are prepared for constructive cooperation with the government formed on the basis of that choice," Mikhail Kamynin said.

    He said Russia is interested in a steady development of bilateral ties with Poland in the spirit of pragmatism and mutual benefit.

    The official said Russia and Poland could build a new partnership that would respond to bilateral interests and "strengthen stability and security on the European continent."

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