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.
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, Warsaw is the capital and one of the major cities within the country of Poland. 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.
- Also see abbreviationfinder.org for how the acronym PL stands for the country of Poland and other meanings of this two-letter abbreviation.
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.
In January 2012, a court sentenced former Interior Minister Czeslaw Kiszczak to 2 years conditional imprisonment for his role in the imposition of military emergency in the country in 1981.
In November 2013, Poland hosted the COP-19 conference on reducing the world’s CO 2 emissions. Poland’s choice of host country was highly debated as the country, with its large coal production, is itself a major CO 2 emitter. During the conference, 132 of the world’s poorest countries emigrated in protest that the rich Western countries that have created global warming would not compensate the world’s poorest countries for the damage caused by the heat in the form of floods and natural disasters. On the last day of the conference, they were joined by the world’s NGOs who also emigrated. Not even the violent hurricane over the Philippines during the conference, which cost 10,000 lives, made the Western world bloom.
In August 2014, the EU announced to the Commission that Donald Tusk would become new President of the Council of Europe. A week later, he filed his farewell petition. The post of prime minister was taken over by his party partner Ewa Kopacz. In November, she also assumed the chairmanship of the party.
In December 2014, the United States Congress published a 600-page summary of a 5,000-page secretly stamped report on the CIA’s torture program since 2001. Poland participated very actively in this program, and as a state was guilty of violating the torture convention. Poland, together with the CIA, operated a torture center in Stare Kiejkuty in the period 2002-05 under the code name Detention Center Blue. As early as July 2014, the European Court of Human Rights issued two rulings on this center, which the Polish Government, however, appealed. Amnesty International urged the Polish government to bring the guilty to justice and to pay compensation to the victims. In February 2015, the European Court of Human Rights rejected Poland’s appeal and ordered the country to pay compensation to the victims. The country’s foreign minister, Grzegorz Schetyna subsequently stated that it would follow the court’s order and pay € 100,000 in damages to Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri and € 130,000 to Abu Zubaydah, both of whom had been tortured. Abu Zubaydah’s lawyer subsequently told his client he would donate the compensation to other victims of torture.
Poland- Russia relations deteriorated drastically during 2014 in the wake of the right-wing coup in Ukraine in February. After Crimea in March conducted a referendum on joining Russia, Poland took the lead in sanctions against Russia. Following a July Malaysian Airlines plane crash in eastern Ukraine, Poland canceled the planned Polish-Polish Mutual Year and Russia Year in Poland, scheduled for 2015. As the EU tightened its sanctions on Russia, Russia responded again with sanctions against the EU. It went, among other things. in addition to Polish agricultural exports. Russia was previously the main export market for Polish apples, and this trade was now completely stopped.
In January 2015, Poland caused international scandal in marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp. It was Russian troops who liberated the camp from the Nazis in January 1945, but to avoid inviting the Russians, the Polish government claimed that it was Ukrainian soldiers who had liberated the camp, and instead invited Ukraine. The scandal was twofold because it was Nazi Ukrainian soldiers who during World War II helped the German Nazis with the massacre of the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw.
Andrzej Duda won the presidential election in May 2015. In the first round he got 34.8% of the vote and in the second round 51.6%. His main counterpart, the incumbent President Komorowski had to settle for 48.4%. Duda’s electoral victory was the preliminary culmination of the right-wing advance in Eastern Europe. He led the election campaign on both tax cuts and state social spending, continued privatization, constitutional changes, increased military spending, resistance to refugees and EU integration, as well as restrictions on the right to abortion, active euthanasia and gay marriage.
In September, the President categorically rejected proposals in the EU for the establishment of a common refugee quota system, thus helping to tighten the Union’s handling of the refugee crisis in 2015. Poland was fundamentally unwilling to accept refugees – although the country would accept a smaller number Christian refugees, but no Muslims. The president also went out with the judge. In the fall of 2015, he declined to approve new judges to the Constitutional Court and instead appointed his own judges. In June 2016, he refused to approve 10 new judges recommended by the Polish National Judges Council. The president’s action was criticized by the country’s Ombudsman for contravening the constitution, by national NGOs and international human rights organizations.
The October 2015 parliamentary elections became a landslide victory for the National Conservative and Right-wing Party of Law and Justice Party PiS, which secured an absolute majority in both the Sejm and the Senate. PiS rose 78 seats to 235 out of the Sejmen’s 460 seats, and 30 seats to 61 out of the Senate’s 100 seats. The Social Democratic Alliance, the United Left, lost all of its 67 seats in the Sejm, thus solely comprised of right-wing and right-wing parties. PiS Vice President Beata Szydło was appointed Prime Minister in November. Observers considered that PiS’s landslide victory was possible because it was the more moderate Szydło who was running for office and not the party’s chairman, the rabid Jarosław Kaczyński. As an expression of PiS ‘
One of the PiS government’s first official acts was to enact legislation so that the government itself could directly appoint leaders to posts in the state media. Critics of PiS in the media were then purged. By the end of 2016, 216 journalists and administrative staff had been fired, forced to resign or relocated to worse positions according to the report. the country’s journalist association. One consequence of the regime’s war on the media was that from 2015 to 16 Poland fell from an 18th place on the World Press Freedom Index to a 47th place.
PiS, in collaboration with the Catholic Church, organized demonstrations against abortion in a large number of Polish cities in May 2016 demanding a total ban on abortion. Existing 1993 legislation was already extremely restrictive and allowed only abortion in cases of rape, incest where the mother’s life was at risk or the fetus malformed. Therefore, only approx. 2000 legal abortions a year. The number of illegal abortions was unknown, but it was estimated that 100-150,000 Polish women were aborted annually in neighboring countries. However, PiS was on a collision course with the population. Opinion polls indicated that 51% of Poles wanted less restrictive abortion legislation and civic groups began collecting 100,000 signatures to get the Sejmen to process a proposal for less restrictive abortion legislation.