Tag Archives: President

Poland has a new President


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According to the National Electoral Commission, Andrzej Duda, a 43-year-old former lawyer, backed by the right-wing Law and Justice (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość / PiS) party, has won the election to become President of Poland. Duda received 51.55% of the vote in yesterday’s presidential election with the incumbent Bronislaw Komorowski, allied to the ruling centrist Civic Platform (PO), receiving 48.45% of votes cast. Turnout for this second round of elections between Duda and Komorowski was 55.34%.

Presidential Elections in Poland


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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.

Bolesław Bierut

Bolesław Bierut

A set of postage stamps with the image of Bolesław Bierut. President of Poland – February 1947 to Nov 1952.

Boleslaw Bierut (Bolesław Biernacki) was a hard-line communist who became President of Poland after the Soviet takeover of the country at the end of the Second World War.

Bierut served as President from 1947 to 1952 and then Prime Minister until his death. He was also the first Secretary General of the ruling Polish United Workers Party. He died under mysterious circumstances on a visit to Moscow in 1956 and was succeeded as Prime Minister by Józef Cyrankiewicz.

Here’s a short film made at Bierut’s funeral in Warsaw. It includes his body on display and mourners paying their respect. Simply click on the arrow to watch the video.

Three random facts about Bolesław Bierut:

  • He was born on the 18th April 1892 in Rury Jezuickie, Lublin.
  • He was imprisoned in Poland between 1933 and 1938 for anti-state activities.
  • He adopted the surname Bierut by combining the first syllables of both his parents’ surnames. His father’s name and his original name is Biernacki.

Wojciech Jaruzelski

Wojciech Jaruzelski

An original press photograph in our picture collection of Wojciech Jaruzelski wearing his trademark dark glasses.

General Wojciech Jaruzelski was a Polish military officer and communist politician. He was the last communist leader of the People’s Republic of Poland. He served as First Secretary of the Polish United Workers’ Party from 1981 to 1989, Prime Minister from 1981 to 1985, and the country’s head of state from 1985 to 1990. He resigned in 1989 leading to the first democratic elections in Poland. Jaruzelski is seen by many as the man chiefly responsible for the imposition of martial law in Poland in December 1981 in an attempt to crush pro-democracy movements, such as Solidarity.

Some random facts you might not know about Wojciech Jaruzelski:

•Wojciech Jaruzelski was born on 6th July 1923 and raised on the family estate in Wysokie.
•He suffered permanent damage to his eyes while working as a forced labourer in coal mines in Kazakhstan, which led to his generally wearing dark glasses when outdoors.
•He was a Lieutenant in the Red Army, actively involved in the fighting which freed Warsaw from German control, later decorated for his soldiering in Western Pomerania, and crossed the River Oder (Odra) to fight in the Battle of Berlin.
•His wife Barbara had a doctorate in German philology. They had one child, a daughter.

Wojciech Jaruzelski

General Wojciech Jaruzelski and Pope Jan Pawel (John Paul) pictured in 1987. Click on photo to enlarge image.

Text last updated on the death of Wojciech Jaruzelski on 25.5.2014.

Jozef Cyrankiewicz

Jozef Cyrankiewicz

Józef Cyrankiewicz was a Polish politician who served as Prime Minister (premier) of the People’s Republic of Poland between 1947 and 1952, and again between 1954 and 1970. After which he became chairman of the Council of State (effectively President of Poland) until 1972. He died in 1989.

Three random facts about Józef Cyrankiewicz:

  • He was imprisoned at Auschwitz concentration camp during the Second World War.
  • He married three times and was married for more than twenty years to the well-known Polish actress Nina Andrycz.
  • He was the politician who signed the 1970 agreement with West Germany formally establishing Poland’s Oder-Neisse western border.

cyrankiewicz poland

Related content on Polish Poland: Bolesław Bierut.