By JAMES EZEMA, With Agency Reports
In the face of stiff opposition to his nomination from his home government, Donald Tusk of Poland has been re-elected president of the European Council.
The head of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, had rejected his recommendation for the top European Union job after years of domestic political conflict with the liberal council president.
He is to serve for the next two-and-a-half years, after been confirmed at a European summit in Brussels by Xavier Bettel, Luxembourg’s Prime Pinister in a tweet.
Tusk, a former prime minister of Poland, had his candidature persistently campaigned against by Warsaw despite overwhelming support from majority of EU member states.
Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat had while speaking only hours before the 28 EU leaders were due to decide who will be president of the EU Council said consultations over the past week had shown “very solid support” for Mr. Tusk.
The EU job is one of the bloc’s most prestigious, involving chairing summits, coordinating the work of the member countries and making sure the 28 nations speak as much as possible with one voice on the international stage.
His home government had argued that the decision should be delayed because of its displeasure with Mr Tusk, a bitter political rival, and with the election process.
The EU is facing a plethora of challenges, which would have worsened if caught in an institutional quagmire over the position of a leader.