Poland's Tusk May Step Down as Early as September

Newly elected European Council President Donald Tusk (L) holds a news conference with his outgoing predecessor Herman Van Rompuy during a EU summit in Brussels August 30, 2014. Yves Herman/Reuters

Poland's Donald Tusk may resign as prime minister as early as September to take up the job of European Council president, a government spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

"I think that it will be possible even in September," Malgorzata Kidawa-Blonska told private radio station PiN, when asked about Tusk's resignation.

Ewa Kopacz, the speaker of parliament and second in command of the ruling Civic Platform party, has emerged as clear favorite to be the next prime minister after Tusk's departure to Brussels.

Polish daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza said on Tuesday the cabinet reshuffle may include changes in posts such as finance minister and regional development minister.

According to the newspaper, Finance Minister Mateusz Szczurek may be replaced by Tusk's close adviser, former prime minister Jan Krzysztof Bielecki.

Asked about the possible replacement of the finance minister, Kidawa-Blonska told Reuters: "It is the president who names the prime minister and it is the new prime minister who assembles the new government, so it is difficult to expect him or her to be hostage to the old prime minister."

Regional development minister Elzbieta Bienkowska, who is also a deputy prime minister, turn leave for a post in Brussels as a European commissioner, Gazeta Wyborcza said.