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Poland

Yearbook 2005

Poland. The acting government chief, Prime Minister Marek Belka, announced at the beginning of the year that he intended to step down and announce early elections. However, Parliament did not agree to an earlier election, and President Aleksander Kwaśniewski refused to accept a power vacuum at the Council of Europe Summit in Warsaw in May. Belka therefore stayed at his post until the autumn's planned elections.

2005 Poland

When the Polish-born Pope John Paul II was dying in March, large crowds of Poles gathered to watch and pray for his recovery. In Karol Wojtyła's old archbishop's seat in Kraków, the pope's favorite team Cracovia set football matches. When the obituary arrived in early April, almost an entire nation mourned Poland's great son, and in Kraków a mass was held in Cracovia's arena, which was renamed John Paul II's stadium.

At the beginning of the year, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice came on a short visit to Warsaw and praised Poland's military efforts in Iraq. But the Polish defense minister declared in April that Poland planned to withdraw its 1,700 soldiers from Iraq by the end of the year. According to countryaah, the stakes in Iraq were not popular among the electorate, which, before this autumn's parliamentary and presidential elections, gave very low opinion figures to the parties in the left-wing government.

Instead, the polls gave success to the opposition within the right-wing Citizens' Platform (PO) and the Nationalist and Conservative Party Law and Justice (PiS). Law and justice were led by the twin brothers Lech and Jarosław Kaczyński, and it was speculated that the positions of president and head of government would fall within the same family.

The parliamentary elections received a record low participation of just over 40% and became a clear victory for the bourgeois parties. PiS, which partly emerged as EU-skeptical and promised action against poverty, was the largest with 155 seats in the lower house, the Sejm, followed by PO with 133 seats. The government's loss was staggering. The leading ruling party Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) shrank from 216 to 55 seats.

However, PiS leader Jarosław Kaczyński refrained from becoming a new head of government, citing his twin brother running for president. The task of forming a new government therefore went to the market liberal economist Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz of PiS.

Since the SLD candidate withdrew from the presidential election, the battle was between PO Party leader Donald Tusk and PiS candidate Lech Kaczyński, who was mayor of Warsaw. The favorite Tusk won the first round, but in the final round the more conservative Kaczyński won the most votes and won with about 54% of the votes. In December, the new president was installed in his office.

The government negotiations between PiS and PO were delayed and eventually collapsed. Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz and PiS therefore formed a minority government. It was voted on with the support of the EU hostile right-wing self-defense and Polish families' associations, while the PO voted against what they called the "anti-European" forces.

In December, outgoing President Kwaśniewski demanded information that the US intelligence service CIA was detaining or detaining suspected terrorists in a Polish prison.

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