Former foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski has been offered work as a non-resident senior fellow at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Oxford University educated minister did not put himself forward for re-election in the recent parliamentary general election, and will relocate to the US later this month. He will work at the Centre for European Studies giving lectures and seminars to students and faculty, and generally promote the centre and its academic research. Radoslaw is married with two children.
The Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (PiS) ‘Law and Justice’ party was founded in 2001 by the Kaczyński twins, Lech and Jarosław. It is currently led by Jaroslaw Kaczynski, with both the President, Andrzej Duda, and the incoming Prime Minister, Beata Szydlo, being members of the party. Politically PiS is a curious blend of conservative right-wing social policies and left-wing economics. The party and membership is mildly Euro-sceptic and opposes the adoption of the euro currency. It is patriotic, pro-Catholic, and anti-immigration. It is also against gay marriage and abortion. They plan to introduce new taxes on banks and large supermarkets, such as Tesco, to fund more social welfare for the poor and a lower retirement age.
Related content on Polish Poland:
Information on the main opposition party – Platforma Obywatelska (PO) ‘Civic Platform’ party.
Jaroslaw Kaczynski on the cover of his book ‘Polska naszych marzen’ (The Poland of our Dreams).
After weeks of speculation the opinion polls have been proved right with the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party winning a majority in yesterday’s parliamentary election.
The broadly eurosceptic popularist party is presided over by the former-Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, twin brother of late President Lech Kaczynski. The probable new Prime Minister will be Beata Szydlo.
Elections promises included: opposition to closer EU ties; a lowering of the state retirement age; higher tax on banks and supermarkets; and help for small business.
Władysław Gomułka on the cover of Time magazine in December 1956.
Władysław Gomułka was born on the 6th February 1905 in Krosno and from humble origins became a leading Polish communist politician. Gomulka was minister of the ‘Recovered Territories’ (the lands acquired from Germany at the end of World War Two) from 1945 until 1948, and de facto leader of Poland from 1956 until his retirement from political life in 1970.
Gomułka is perhaps best known for his central role in the negotiating of the Oder-Neisse border treaty between Poland and West Germany, which was signed in 1970; and his part in the death of several dozen workers who were shot during demonstrations just prior to his resignation. He was replaced by Edward Gierek who took over the Party leadership. Gomulka died in September 1982 of lung cancer.
A political poster on a notice board outside a church in the city of Gorzów Wielkopolski in Poland, May 2015.
In the first round of the Polish elections for President of Poland two candidates gained enough support to ensure a second vote later this month. Andrzej Duda from the opposition Law and Justice party gained the most votes with 34.76 per cent of the votes. Second place went to incumbent president and former P.O ‘Civic Platform’ politician, Bronislaw Komorowski, who received 33.77 percent of the votes. While, singer and activist, Pawel Kukiz came in third place with just over 20% of the votes cast in this first round of the elections. In general, Komorowski, proved most popular with voters in the western provinces of Poland, Duda in the east of the country, and Kukiz was favoured most by younger voters.
Komorowski and Duda will go through to the second round of the elections on 24 May 2015.
Platforma Obywatelska (PO) ‘Civic Platform’ is a conservative pro-business Christian democratic political party. It is currently the major coalition partner in Poland’s government, with the leader of the party, Ewa Kopacz as Prime Minister of Poland, and Bronisław Komorowski as President. It is probably the most pro-European Union of all the major political parties in Poland.
Edward Rydz-Smigly (Rydz-Śmigły) was a Polish army officer and politician; who on the death of Joseph Piłsudski, became Marshal of Poland and Commander-in-Chief of Poland’s armed forces / General Inspector of the Armed Forces. Rydz was in charge of the Polish army during the Invasion of Poland in 1939. He died of heart failure in Warsaw in December 1941 and is buried at Powazki Cemetery.
Janusz Palikot is a businessman and one of the more colourful and controversial Polish politicians. Palikot began politics with Civic Platform but left and founded Palikot’s Movement, an anti-clerical and liberal party. The party won 10 percent of the vote in the recent parliamentary elections.
Here’s a interview (in Polish) he recorded with a reporter from Newsweek last month.
Related content: Anna Grodzka, Poland’s first-ever transsexual lawmaker.