Poland. According to
COUNTRYAAH, the coalition government between the liberal
Freedom Union UW and the Solidarity-led right alliance AWS
had a hard time keeping together. AWS accommodated over 30
small parties and groupings, and about 20 AWS MPs revolted
in the spring against the government's market reforms and
budgetary tightening. They also tried to slow down EU
Tensions led to a government crisis in May, when Finance
Minister and Liberal leader Leszek Balcerowicz decided to
step down. Triggering was a conflict with Prime Minister
Jerzy Buzek, AWS, around the local government in Warsaw. But
basically, the architect of reform Balcerowicz was
frustrated that the government did not get through its
policies. Balcerowicz said Buzek was not strong enough to
control the AWS MPs.
The ministers of the Freedom Union left the coalition,
and in June AWS formed a minority government led by Buzek.
The government's difficulties increased the support of
the communist opposition, the Democratic Left Alliance, SLD.
In the October presidential election, therefore, popular
sitting president, Aleksander Kwasniewski of SLD, with close
to 54% of the vote, won enough to make a second round of
redundancy unnecessary. Andrzej Olechowski, an independent
liberal candidate, came in second with just over 17%, while
AWS candidate and Solidarity leader Marian Krzaklewski
received just under 16%.
Other candidates in the election were former Solidarity
leader and President Lech Wałęsa. He had lost his former
popular popularity and received only about 1% of the vote.
Wałęsa therefore announced that he was leaving politics for
The economy continued to grow and was expected to be
around 5% during the year. Industry production increased, as
did exports, but the trade deficit was still significant.
Around three quarters of exports went to EU countries.
Negotiations with the EU on Polish membership proved to
be slow. Agricultural policy, which was formally raised in
the summer, was also expected to be the most difficult area
for negotiation. The government has demanded that Polish
farmers receive EU subsidies immediately after Poland's
entry into the Union, which the EU rejected. On the EU side,
however, Poland was said to have made good progress in its
EU adjustment since the previous year.
The strained relations between Poland and the Russian
Federation deteriorated further at the beginning of the
year, when the Warsaw government expelled nine Russian
diplomats accused of espionage. Moscow responded by sending
home as many Polish diplomats. However, the relationship
seemed to improve during the year, and analysts believed
that the Russian Federation had begun to accept that its
former ally Poland had joined NATO (1999).
At the end of the year, the nurses' union went on strike
at more than 100 hospitals with demands for an increase in
salaries, which amounted to approximately SEK 1,200. in
month. Strikers occupied for several weeks the Ministry of
Health in Warsaw and blocked, among other things. roads and
The 2005 parliamentary election became a victory for the
National Conservative Party for Law and Justice (PiS). This
party received 27 percent of the vote and the Liberal
Citizen Platform (PO) 24.1 percent. The negotiations for a
coalition government between PiS and PO did not proceed,
partly because of disagreement over which party should hold
the presidential position in Sejm. The result was that PiS
formed government together with two smaller, populist
parties: the Federation of Polish Families (LPR) and the
Self-Defense Party (SRP - Samoobrona).
The Prime Minister's candidate for PiS, Jaroslaw
Aleksander Kaczyński, withdrew ahead of the coalition
negotiations. The reason was that his twin brother Lech
Kaczyński was elected Poland's new president in October.
Instead, Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz became new prime minister
in November 2005.
In the October 2005 presidential election, conservative
nationalist Lech Kaczyński got 54 percent of the vote in the
second round, with the counterpart being Donald Franciszek
Tusk of the Citizens' Platform (PO). Tusk was the strongest
candidate in the first round, but Kaczyński received support
from extremist populist Andrzej Lepper of the Self-Defense
Party who achieved a staggering 15 percent of the vote.
Kaczyński won on a political platform with increased state
control over the economy and increased social benefits,
combined with a conservative moral policy emphasizing
Catholic values and the fight against free abortion.
Jarosław Kaczyński took over as prime minister in July
2006, but in September 2007 the parliament was dissolved.
Following the recent election on October 21, 2007, the
Citizens' Platform (PO) formed a majority government
together with the Polish People's Party (PSL) with Donald
Franciszek Tusk as prime minister. A new parliamentary
election was held on October 9, 2011. With 235
representatives, the Citizen Platform and the Polish
People's Party retained the majority in Sejm. These two
parties formed a new coalition government on November 18,
2011. Donald Tusk continued as prime minister and was thus
the first Polish prime minister to be re-elected after
serving a full term.
In the fall of 2014, Donald Tusk took over as President
of the European Council, and Ewa Bożena Kopasz was appointed
new Prime Minister. In doing so, she became the second woman
in Poland to be appointed head of government.
At the parliamentary elections on October 25, 2015, PiS
received 37.58 percent of the vote and 235 of 460
representatives in Sejm. For the first time after 1990, a
Left Party / Left Alliance was not represented in Sejm.
Following this election, PiS formed a majority government
with Beata Szydło as prime minister, while Jarosław
Kaczyński continued as party leader. Beata Szydło was
inaugurated on November 16, 2015. Party colleague Mateusz
Morawiecki took over as prime minister on December 11, 2017.
The government's national conservative policy has had an
impact on the mass media in Poland, the Constitutional
Court's position in Poland's political system and Poland's
relationship with the EU (see article Poland's foreign
policy). The opposition parties have strongly criticized the
government's efforts to undermine the rule of law in Poland
and to make the state television and radio channels
propaganda devices for the government.
During the parliamentary elections on October 13, 2019,
PiS received a higher percentage turnout than in the 2015
election, but the same number of representatives in Sejm
(235). Following this election, PiS established a new
majority government with Mateusz Morawiecki as still prime