WARSAW - Poland's president on Monday designated Ewa Kopacz as the country's next prime minister to replace centrist Donald Tusk after he was tapped as the new president of the European Council.
A close Tusk ally, Kopacz vowed she was up to the "challenge of forming a good government" just one year ahead of parliamentary elections next autumn.
Kopacz, a 57-year-old paediatrician turned politician, was fully backed by Tusk's governing coalition comprising his centre-right Civic Platform (PO) and the agrarian Polish People's Party (PSL).
Kopacz now has two weeks to form a new government and put it to a vote in parliament, which is also likely to give her the go-ahead given the extent of her backing there as speaker of the lower house.
Known for her loyalty to Tusk, Kopacz has been criticised for lacking real political clout and a clearly defined vision.
Several key ministerial positions, including that of defence minister, are likely to remain unchanged, according to local media.