Pro-Market, Pro-EU Leader Pledges Policy Shifts
Polish voters have turned out in numbers not seen since the fall of Communism to elect the Civic Platform party into power.
With 99% percent of the vote counted the pro-EU party led by Donald Tusk is set to claim 41% of the vote, setting the party up to form a coalition with the moderate Polish Peasants party.
The ousted Law and Justice party, led by Jaroslaw Kaczynski, took a combative political approach to EU affairs that has alienated Poland from the rest of Europe.
Mr. Kaczynksi often played on old nationalist sentiments and stirred up World War II resentments.
Mr. Tusk's Civic Platform party has vowed to repair relations with the EU and focus on Polish opportunities that derive from political cooperation with the rest of the European community.
Mr. Tusk is also seen as pro-business and a proponent of the free market.
EU politicians and European newspapers breathed a sigh of relief on Monday.
Jose Manuel Barrosso, EU commission president, reacted with the words: "I am confident that there can be fruitful cooperation with the next Polish government." He added: "I'm pleased by the Democratic process in Poland."
Battles With President Loom
Mr. Tusk will not have free hand in crafting Polish policy.
Lech Kazcynski, twin brother to Jaroslaw and fellow conservative nationalist, holds the Polish presidency until elections in 2010.
He has vowed to use his veto power to combat Civic Platform party proposals.
Mr. Tusk will need to hold together a broad coalition in parliament to meet his party's objectives.