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Tusk government survives confidence vote in Poland parliament

Poland’s government has won a confidence vote despite a scandal revolving around secret tapes of government officials. Prime Minister Donald Tusk had called for the vote on Wednesday afternoon.

Tusk's ruling Civic Platform and its junior coalition partner, Poland's Peasants Party, won Wednesday's parliamentary vote of confidence with the support of 237 members of parliament. They had needed 231.

Members of Tusk's Cabinet were recently implicated in a scandal over leaked recordings that were published in a magazine. The recordings, which have rocked the Polish government, feature officials criticizing or making derogatory comments about world leaders. It is reported that, in at least one, Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski described the country's alliance with the United States as "worthless ... even harmful because it gives Poland a false sense of security."

"I'm ending my statement with a motion to the parliament speaker to conduct the confidence vote as soon as possible," Tusk announced to members of parliament ahead of the vote.

"Without this mandate, I will not be effective, the government will not be able to clarify the bugging affair in a satisfactory manner and keep a handle on state interests," he said.

mkg/hc (Reuters, AFP)