Europe

FM: Poland's counter-candidate to Tusk "in the game" in EU

FILE - In this Dec. 7, 2013 file photo, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, vice president of the European People's Party and chairman of the European People's Party Group, cheers pro-European Union supporters at a mass rally in the Independence Square as snow falls in Kiev, Ukraine. Saryusz-Wolski is Poland's surprise counter-candidate to challenge incumbent Donald Tusk for the post of European Council head.  (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky, File)

FILE - In this Dec. 7, 2013 file photo, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, vice president of the European People's Party and chairman of the European People's Party Group, cheers pro-European Union supporters at a mass rally in the Independence Square as snow falls in Kiev, Ukraine. Saryusz-Wolski is Poland's surprise counter-candidate to challenge incumbent Donald Tusk for the post of European Council head. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky, File)  (The Associated Press)

Poland's foreign minister says the government's surprise counter-candidate to challenge incumbent Donald Tusk for European Council head is "Poland's only candidate on the game."

Poland has proposed Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, 68, a center-right member of the European Parliament, to succeed fellow Pole Tusk, whose term ends May 31. Warsaw refuses to back a second term for Tusk, a former Polish prime minister, saying he supports anti-government opposition in Poland and has failed to protect the country's interests in the European Union.

Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said Monday Saryusz-Wolski is "in the game." Speaking ahead of a foreign ministers' meeting in Brussels, he said "it's obvious he is Poland's candidate and must be taken into consideration."

He said the candidacy may be debated at EU summit this week, or later on.