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Lech Aleksander Kaczyński


Incumbent
Assumed office 
23 December 2005
Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz
Jarosław Kaczyński
Donald Tusk
Preceded by Aleksander Kwaśniewski

In office
12 June 2000 – 4 July 2001
Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek
Preceded by Hanna Suchocka
Succeeded by Stanisław Iwanicki

In office
18 November 2002 – 22 December 2005
Preceded by Wojciech Kozak
Succeeded by Mirosław Kochalski

In office
1992 – 1995
Preceded by Walerian Pańko
Succeeded by Janusz Wojciechowski

Born 18 June 1949 (1949-06-18) (age 60)
Warsaw, Poland
Political party Independent (2006–present)
Law and Justice (2001–2006)
Spouse(s) Maria Kaczyńska
Profession Lawyer
Religion Roman Catholic

Lech Aleksander Kaczyński (Polish pronunciation: [ˈlɛx alɛˈksandɛr kaˈtʂɨɲskʲi]  ( listen); born 18 June 1949) is the President of the Republic of Poland, a politician of the party Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (Law and Justice, PiS). Kaczyński served as Mayor of Warsaw from 2002 until 22 December 2005, the day before his presidential inauguration. He is the identical twin brother of the former Prime Minister of Poland and current Chairman of the Law and Justice party, Jarosław Kaczyński.

Contents

Personal life

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Early life

Lech Kaczyński was born in Żoliborz, Warsaw, the son of Rajmund (an engineer who served as a soldier of the Armia Krajowa in World War II and a veteran of the Warsaw Uprising)[1] and Jadwiga (a philologist at the Polish Academy of Sciences)[2]. As a child, he starred in a 1962 Polish film, The Two Who Stole the Moon (Polish title O dwóch takich, co ukradli księżyc) with his twin brother Jarosław.

Lech Kaczyński is a graduate of law and administration of Warsaw University. In 1980 he was awarded his PhD by Gdańsk University. In 1990 he had his habilitation in labour and employment law. He later assumed professorial positions at Gdańsk University and Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw.

Marriage and family

He is married to an economist Maria Kaczyńska (born 1943) and has one daughter, Marta (born 1980) who graduated from the Department of Law at Gdańsk University. Marta is married and in 2003 she gave birth to her daughter, Ewa. Mr. and Mrs. Kaczyński are animal lovers. They have two dogs and two cats.[3]

Opposition to Communism

In the 1970s Lech Kaczyński was an activist in the pro-democratic anti-Communist movement in Poland, Workers' Defence Committee, as well as the Independent Trade Union movement. In August, 1980, he became an adviser to the Inter-Enterprise Strike Committee in the Gdańsk Shipyard and the Solidarity movement. During the martial law introduced by the communists in December, 1981, he was interned as an anti-socialist element. After his release from internment, he returned to trade union activities, becoming a member of the underground Solidarity.

When Solidarity was legalized again in the late 1980s, Lech Kaczyński was an active adviser of Lech Wałęsa and his Komitet Obywatelski Solidarność in 1988. From February to April, 1989, he participated in Polish Round Table talks.

Porozumienie Centrum

Kaczyński was elected a senator in the elections of June 1989, and became the vice-chairman of Solidarity trade union NSZZ Solidarność. In the 1991 parliamentary election, he was elected to the parliament as a non-party member. He was, however, supported by the electoral committee Center Civic Alliance, closely related but not identical to the political party Porozumienie Centrum (Center Agreement) led by his brother. He was also the main adviser and supporter of Lech Wałęsa when the latter was elected President of Poland in December 1990. Wałęsa nominated Kaczyński to be the Security Minister in the Presidential Chancellery but fired him in 1992 due to a conflict concerning Jan Olszewski's government.

Lech Kaczyński was the President of the Supreme Chamber of Control (Najwyższa Izba Kontroli, NIK) from February 1992 to May 1995 and later Minister of Justice and Attorney General in Jerzy Buzek's government from June 2000 until his dismissal in July 2001. During this time he was very popular because of his strong stance against corruption.

Law and Justice

In 2001 he founded the conservative political party Law and Justice (PiS) party with his brother Jarosław. Lech Kaczyński was the president of the party between 2001 and 2003. His brother Jaroslaw is its current chairman.

Mayor of Warsaw

In 2002, Lech Kaczyński was elected the mayor of Warsaw by a large margin. He started his term in office by declaring a war on corruption. He strongly supported the construction of the Museum of the Warsaw Uprising and in 2004 appointed a historical panel to estimate material losses that were inflicted upon the city by the Germans in the Second World War (an estimated 85% of the city was destroyed in the Warsaw Uprising) as a direct response to heightened claims coming from German expellees from Poland. The panel estimated the losses to be at least 45.3 billion euros ($54 billion) in current value. He also promoted currently under construction museum of Polish Jews in Warsaw by donating city land to the project.

Kaczyński banned the Warsaw gay movement parade in 2004 and 2005, locally known as the Parada Równości, stating the lack of necessary documentation by organisers as the reason but also saying the parade would promote a "homosexual lifestyle".[4] He also cited as reasons for the ban security measures, it being offensive to public morals and the fact that the parade coincided with the unveiling of a monument to general Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski. In 2004 his opponents called his actions unconstitutional and he has been repeatedly criticised by the Mazowieckie voivodeship administration, which officially supervises the Mayor of Warsaw. In 2005, he allowed a counter-demonstration, the "Parade of Normality."[5]

In 2007, Poland, represented by Lech Kaczyński, was found guilty by the European Court of Human Rights of violation the freedom of assembly under Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights.[6][7][8]

Republic of Poland

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Politics and government of
Poland



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Presidency

Presidential elections

see: Polish presidential election, 2005

On 19 March 2005, he formally declared his intention to run for president in the October 2005 election. Elected President of the Republic of Poland were he defeated runner up Donald Tusk, polling 54.04 percent of the vote, Kaczyński assumed the office on 23 December 2005 by taking an oath before the National Assembly.

Domestic policy

In his first public speech as president-elect, Kaczyński said his presidency would have the fundamental task amelioration of the Republic. This will consist of "purging various pathologies from our life, most prominently including crime (...), particularly criminal corruption – that entire, great rush to obtain unjust enrichment, a rush that is poisoning society, [and preventing the state from ensuring] elementary social security, health security, basic conditions for the development of the family [and] the security of commerce and the basic conditions for economic development.[9]

During his inauguration he stated several goals he would pursue during his presidency. Among those concerning internal affairs were: increasing social solidarity in Poland, bringing justice to those who were responsible or affected by communist crimes in the People's Republic of Poland, fighting corruption, providing security in economy, and safety for development of family. Kaczyński also stated that he would seek to abolish differences between regions. In his speech he also put emphasis on combining modernisation with tradition and remembering the teachings of Pope John Paul II.

On December 21, 2008, Lech Kaczyński became the first Polish head of state to visit a Polish synagogue for a religious service. His attendance coincided with the first night of Hanukkah.[10]

Presidential pardons

In the years 2005-2007, as per article 133 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, president Lech Kaczyński has pardoned 77 people and declined to pardon 550.

Foreign affairs

In foreign affairs, President Kaczyński noted that many of Poland's problems were related to the lack of energy security and this issue would have to be resolved in order to protect Polish interests. Strengthening ties with the USA while continuing to develop relations within the European Union are two main goals of Polish foreign affairs, as well as improving relations with France and Germany despite several problems in the relations with the latter. Outside those issues, the main tasks include developing a visible strategic partnership with Ukraine and greater cooperation with the Baltic states and Georgia.

Defense Minister Radosław Sikorski compared the planned Russia to Germany gas pipeline to the infamous Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact and Foreign minister Anna Fotyga stated that the pipeline was a threat to Poland's energy security.[11]

In November 2006 Helsinki European Union—Russia meeting Poland vetoed the launch of EU-Russia partnership talks due to Russian ban on Polish meat and plant products imports.[12]

As a reaction to claims by an obscure German exile group Preussische Treuhand, which represents post-1945 German expellees from Eastern Europe, the Polish Foreign Minister Fotyga (a protégé of Kaczyński) mistakenly threatened to reopen a 1990 Treaty fixing the Oder and Neisse rivers as the border between the two countries instead of the Neighborhood Treaty signed in the same year.[13][14]

In 2008 following the military conflict between Russia and Georgia, Lech Kaczyński has provided the website of the President of Poland for dissemination of information for blocked by the Russian Federation Georgian internet portals.

During the state visit to Serbia in 2009 Kaczyński said that the Polish government, on the basis of its constitutional competences, decided to recognize Kosovo and emphasized that he, as the President of the state, did not agree with that.[15]

Trivia

  • He is the first President of the post communistic Poland who holds a degree in higher education. Previous presidents, Lech Walesa and Aleksander Kwasniewski, hold elementary vocational and high school degrees respectively.

Gallery

References

  1. ^ Rajmund Kaczyñski h. Pomian: genealogia (Potomkowie Sejmu Wielkiego)
  2. ^ Jadwiga Jasiewicz h. Rawicz: genealogia (Potomkowie Sejmu Wielkiego)
  3. ^ http://www.president.pl/x.node?id=437
  4. ^ "BBC News: Gay marchers ignore ban in Warsaw". 11 June 2005. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4084324.stm. Retrieved 5 January 2010.  
  5. ^ "Radio Polonia: Anti-gay demonstration in Warsaw". http://www.radio.com.pl/polonia/article.asp?tId=24125&j=2.  
  6. ^ Polish gay activists win human rights case
  7. ^ ""CASE OF BĄCZKOWSKI AND OTHERS v. POLAND, Verdict". Page 31". http://cmiskp.echr.coe.int////tkp197/viewhbkm.asp?action=open&table=F69A27FD8FB86142BF01C1166DEA398649&key=25057&sessionId=27075086&skin=hudoc-in-en&attachment=true. Retrieved 24 July 2009.  
  8. ^ "whole text of the judgement (en)". http://cmiskp.echr.coe.int/tkp197/view.asp?item=1&portal=hbkm&action=html&highlight=B%u0105czkowski&sessionid=27075412&skin=hudoc-en. Retrieved 24 July 2009.  
  9. ^ "Speech of the president-elect on his official webpage". http://www.president.pl/x.node?id=434.  
  10. ^ Associated Press.Polish president visits synagogue for Hanukkah. accessed and written 21 Dec. 2008.
  11. ^ "ENERGY DELIVERIES -- Gas Diplomacy" (in en). The Warsaw Voice. 2006-06-07. http://www.warsawvoice.pl/view/11553/. Retrieved 2006-01-16.  
  12. ^ "EU Divided After Poland’s Veto Hosts Russia’s Putin at Summit" (in en). MosNews. 2006-11-24. http://www.mosnews.com/news/2006/11/24/eudivided.shtml. Retrieved 2006-01-16.  
  13. ^ "Poles Angered by German WWII Compensation Claims" (in en). Spiegel Online. 2006-12-18. http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,455183,00.html. Retrieved 2006-01-16.  
  14. ^ "Furious Poland Threatens to Re-Open German Border Treaty" (in en). Spiegel Online. 2006-12-19. http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,455516,00.html. Retrieved 2006-01-16.  
  15. ^ TALKS TADIC – KACINSKY

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Walerian Pańko
President of the Supreme Chamber of Control
1992–1995
Succeeded by
Janusz Wojciechowski
Preceded by
Hanna Suchocka
Minister of Justice
2000–2001
Succeeded by
Stanisław Iwanicki
Preceded by
Wojciech Kozak
President of Warsaw
2002–2005
Succeeded by
Mirosław Kochalski
Acting
Preceded by
Aleksander Kwaśniewski
President of Poland
2005–present
Incumbent
Order of precedence
Preceded by
None
Polish order of precedence
President
Succeeded by
Bronisław Komorowski
Sejm Marshal

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Lech Kaczyński (born 18 June 1949) Polish politician; a leader of Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (Law and Justice) party, President of Poland since 2005.

Sourced

  • Piss off, lout! (Spieprzaj, dziadu)
    • During the 2002 campaign to a tramp (4 November 2002). More details can be found in the (Polish) Wikipedia article [1] or [2] (in Polish).
  • The politician has a right to defend his dignity. I ignored the first wave of invectives, but the second one was too much, I couldn't have handled it and I had said in hard (but for the street - where I was - soft) words that he should go.
    • President Kaczyński's comment on words above. (2002)
  • I haven't been wounded, but I can still feel that hit. I will not tolerate such behaviour.
    • President Kaczyński's comment on being attacked by an anarchist with a blueberry-and-cream pie after banning an LGBT Equality Parade in Warsaw (2 June 2004)
  • The promotion of homosexuality may lead to the eventual destruction of the human race. [3]

Rzeczpospolita interview (March 2005)

Quotes from an interview appearing in Rzeczpospolita (19-21 March 2005)

  • It is necessary to restore the dignity of the presidential office and cut it off decisively from non-transparent connections... For the first time in many years, I see a chance in Poland for major change. The presidential office can guarantee that these changes are carried out without undermining the social equilibrium.
  • What we want is a moral revolution, not one that people associate with street riots and the disorganisation of life. A transformation of attitudes that will introduce a normal, moral order in the functioning of the state. An order whereby honesty is a positive value, and dishonesty a negative one.
  • I'm opposed to the idea of a flat-rate tax, and I doubt I'd sign it. Attempts to introduce a liberal utopia need to be opposed. The presidential office should oppose such ideas and care for social equilibrium to be maintained.
  • The Polish society is not composed solely of entrepreneurial and energetic young people. I can't image pensioners who get ZL600 or ZL800 a month getting even less than that. That'd be immoral.
  • It sets a path towards the elimination of nation states and the emergence of a European state in the strictest sense of the word. I'm definitely opposed to it.
    • On the EU Constitution
  • The EU isn't a loving family of European nations where everyone altruistically cares for everyone else. Various interests clash on various issues, and all kinds of coalitions are struck to push through specific solutions. I have no inhibitions here whatsoever. We can cooperate with France and Germany on some issues, and argue with, say, Spain and the UK. Realistically, however, we have to collaborate above all with those countries that want more autonomy within the EU, such as the UK or Denmark.
  • The US is a difficult partner, but an indispensable one. Everyone who have had to do with US politicians and diplomats knows they aren't easy to deal with. That is because of their immense sense of power. But an alliance with the US is absolutely necessary because of our relations with, on the one hand, Germany and France, and, on the other, Russia.
  • The Russians can be expected to carry out policies aimed at regaining their influence in Poland... I'm talking here about gas, oil, and so on. The Russians want this to be their zone of influence again, though of course on a different basis than in the past. They don't want full domination but rather an ability to exert substantial influence.
  • We have to oppose the widespread view that if the Russians are provoking us, we shouldn't react because that could be perceived as a confirmation of Poland's alleged russophobia. Let's remember that Russia is not only provoking us but also checking how far it can go. Recently it went definitely too far. We must react when we have to do with obvious nonsense, like the Russian foreign ministry's recent statement that Yalta resulted in a strong, free, and democratic Poland.

External links

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