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By Robin Emmott and Paul Taylor BRUSSELS/PARIS (Reuters) - Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has emerged as clear favorite for the key post of president of the European Council when EU leaders meet for a special summit on Saturday, several sources familiar with the selection process said. If confirmed, his appointment to chair and steer policymaking meetings of EU leaders, would be a victory for the 10 ex-communist central and eastern European countries that joined the European Union a decade ago which have demanded that one of the top jobs go to a candidate from their region. It would also consecrate Poland's rise as a major player in the 28-nation bloc alongside EU founders France and Germany. Two Brussels sources said current council president Herman Van Rompuy, who chairs and prepares EU summits, will consult fellow leaders on a package deal in a round of telephone calls on Thursday and Friday.