New Polish PM this week, Kaczynski warns on euro

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WARSAW, Nov 5 (Reuters) Polish centre-right leader Donald Tusk will be formally invited to form a government by President Lech Kaczynski this week, after his party's electoral victory over the conservatives led by Kaczynski and his twin brother.

The handover of power to Tusk's Civic Platform party and its allies following the Oct 21 poll began today, when outgoing Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski presented his resignation to his brother in a solemn ceremony at the presidential palace.

Chief presidential aide Michal Kaminski said President Kaczynski would nominate Tusk to the premiership after meeting all party leaders tomorrow.

''Mr President plans to designate Donald Tusk this week,'' Kaminski told a news conference.

The Kaczynskis have expressed bitterness about their Law and Justice party's defeat in the election after presiding over ex-communist European Union member Poland's fastest economic growth in a decade.

But their confrontational style, social conservatism and rows with EU partners alienated many Poles, who turned out in record numbers to vote for Tusk's economically liberal, pro-EU Civic Platform.

In a farewell speech at the first sitting of the newly elected parliament, Prime Minister Kaczynski warned Tusk not to rush to adopt the euro, saying it could hurt the economy.

Civic Platform wants to swap the zloty currency for the euro by 2013.

''There is one way to stop the economic growth -- through consequences of euro introduction,'' said Kaczynski, who abandoned earlier plans to sign up to the single currency by 2011 when he took power two years ago.

He also urged Tusk to complete the outgoing government's negotiations with the United States on hosting parts of the US missile shield, saying partnership with Washington was the pillar of Poland's long-term security.

VOTE OF CONFIDENCE Once designated, Tusk will have two weeks to form a cabinet and win a parliamentary vote of confidence.

He has already agreed to form a majority coalition with the smaller Peasants' Party, and the two have all but agreed a programme and cabinet line-up.

A senior Civic Platform figure, Bronislaw Komorowski, was elected lower house speaker today, a key post controlling the flow of legislation through parliament. Peasants' Party leader Waldemar Pawlak will become economy minister.

Jacek Rostowski, an economy professor who favours speedy euro entry, will head the finance ministry, while Radek Sikorski, once defence minister under Kaczynski, is poised to take the foreign affairs portfolio.

The latter potential nomination faces opposition from the president, who has accused Oxford-educated Sikorski of jeopardising close ties with the United States during his stint as defence minister.

The Kaczynskis dismissed Sikorski from the cabinet in February after he tried to bargain hard with Washington over the missile defence.

Tusk and Sikorski say Polish foreign policy must balance ties with Washington and the country's 26 EU partners.

REUTERS MP AS0248

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