The Republic of Poland 1

The presidencies of Kaczyński, Komorowski and Duda

The parliamentary elections on September 25, 2005 led to another change of power: the SLD, which had previously ruled, only received 11.3% of the votes (55 MPs); the election winners PiS (26.99% of the votes; 155 seats) and PO (24.1%; 133 seats) initially set course for the formation of a coalition government. The chairman of the PiS, Jarosław Kaczyński, initially renounced the office of prime minister in order not to diminish the chances of success of his twin brother Lech Kaczyński(PiS) in the presidential elections, which he only did in the runoff elections on October 23, 2005, in which he received 54% of the votes won against PO chairman D. Tusk (L. Kaczyński’s inauguration as President on December 23, 2005).

After the failure of the coalition negotiations with the PO, a minority government composed of politicians from the PiS and non-party experts was sworn in under Prime Minister K. Marcinkiewicz (PiS) on October 31, 2005 and confirmed by parliament on November 10, 2005. In May 2006, according to homosociety, the PiS formed a government coalition with the Self-Defense Party of the Republic of Poland and the right-wing national league of Polish families, which each represented Andrzej Lepper (* 1954, † 2011) and Roman Giertych (* 1971) as deputy prime ministers. On July 10, 2006 Marcinkiewicz resigned as Prime Minister; it was solved by the brother of the President and Chairman of the PiS J. Kaczyński in office for which he was sworn in on July 14, 2006. After a series of political scandals and an increasing rift between the parties involved in the government, J. Kaczyński dissolved the government coalition on August 13, 2007 and continued to do business with a minority cabinet.

The parliamentary elections on October 21, 2007, which were brought forward and were perceived as decisive by the population, were won by the liberal-conservative PO with 41.5% of the votes cast. The PiS won 32.1% of the vote, followed by the center-left alliance Die Linke und die Democrats (LiD, 13.2%) and the Peasant Party (PSL, 8.9%); the SO only received 1.5% and the LPR 1.3% of the vote. On October 30, 2007, the PO and the PSL, led by D. Tusk, agreed on a coalition cabinet that was supported by a majority of the seats in parliament (240 of 460). On November 16, 2007, Tusk was sworn in as Prime Minister.

In 2008, his government was unable to implement important reform projects. President L. Kaczyński from the opposing national-conservative camp threatened several times with his no. Tusk lacked the necessary two-thirds majority in parliament to overturn the president’s veto. The blockade affected v. a. Legislative packages to reform the judiciary, health and state administration; The privatization of state-owned companies was also discontinued.

On April 10, 2010, President L. Kaczyński had a fatal accident with his wife and 94 other politicians, military officials and clergy in a plane crash near Smolensk. He and his delegation were on their way to a memorial service for the murder of Polish soldiers by the Soviet secret service in Katyn. B. Komorowski (PO) became the interim president. He prevailed on July 4, 2010 in the runoff election for president against J. Kaczyński. On Komorowski accounted for 53% of the vote, J. Kaczynskireceived 47%. On August 6, 2010, Komorowski was sworn in as President.

In the parliamentary elections on October 9, 2011, the PO emerged victorious with 39.2% of the vote. The pro-European Prime Minister D. Tusk was the first Polish Prime Minister since the end of communism to be confirmed in his office. The right-wing conservative PiS party came in at 29.7%. The result of the elections allowed the ruling coalition of PO and PSL to continue, which had won 8.4% of the vote. On May 11, 2012, Parliament decided to gradually raise the retirement age to 67 years (for men by 2020, for women by 2040). The move, which was accompanied by violent protests, contributed to falling polls for Prime Minister Tusk. In a government statement on October 12, 2012, Tusk moved forward from its tough austerity course and announced economic development measures. Tusk responded to poor poll numbers in November 2013 with a cabinet reshuffle, which resulted in the dismissal of seven ministers. In the European elections on May 25, 2014, the PiS won 32.3% of the votes and 19 of 51 mandates to be awarded. The PO got 31.3% of the vote and was also able to win 19 mandates. On August 30, 2014, the heads of state and government of the EU appointed D. Tusk as future EU Council President at a special summit in Brussels. As a result, Tusk resigned from the office of Polish Prime Minister in September 2014. President Komorowski commissioned the previous President of Parliament, E. Kopacz with the formation of a new government. E. Kopacz was sworn in as Prime Minister on September 22, 2014. In the runoff election for the presidency on May 24, 2015, A. Duda, candidate of the opposition PiS, prevailed with 51.55% of the votes against incumbent B. Komorowski, who received 48.45% of the votes.

In the parliamentary elections on October 25, 2015, the governing coalition suffered a heavy defeat. The opposition PiS and its top candidate B. Szydło won 37.6% of the vote and 235 (2011: 157) of the 460 members of parliament. This gave the party an absolute majority of the seats in the Sejm. Prime Minister Kopacz’s PO only got 24.1% of the vote and 138 seats (2011: 207). Your coalition partner PSL received 5.1% of the vote and 16 seats (2011: 28). B. Szydlo was sworn in as the new Prime Minister on November 16, 2015. The new government quickly implemented two bills that the liberal opposition and parts of the public viewed as an attack on the rule of law and the separation of powers. First, on December 28, 2015, a law reforming the Constitutional Court came into force. stipulated that 13 (previously 9) of the 15 judges must participate in each decision. At the same time, several constitutional judges elected under the previous government were not recognized by the new government. A new media law that came into force on January 8, 2016 enabled the government to make direct decisions about management positions at public broadcasters and the state news agency.

The Republic of Poland 1