Eastern Europe at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century: A Guide to the Economies in Transition

By Ian Jeffries | Go to book overview
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5

Poland

POLITICS

Political developments between the November 1995 presidential election and the general election of September 1997

5 November 1995: there is a 64.7 per cent turnout for the first round of the presidential election (the second being fixed for 19 November). Thirteen candidates actually take part, four having dropped out. Alexander Kwasniewski comes first with 35.11 per cent of the vote. Lech Walesa's continuing resurgence takes him into second place with 33.11 per cent. (Walesa continually plugged his theme that former communists would control the presidency as well as the government and parliament if Kwasniewski won.) Jacek Koron won 9 per cent of the vote, Waldemar Pawlak 4.3 per cent and Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz 2.8 per cent.

19 November 1995: Kwasniewski wins the presidency with 51.72 per cent of the vote in a 68 per cent turnout. Walesa receives 48.28 per cent of the vote. (Soon afterwards the defence, foreign and interior ministers announced their intention to resign.)

26 November 1995: Kwasniewski resigns from the Alliance of the Democratic Left.

9 December 1995: the Supreme Court rules that the presidential result stands despite the fact that Kwasniewski broke the electoral law by falsely claiming that he had an economics degree. The court feels that it is impossible to determine the effect it had on preferences. (Some 600,000 people signed an application to annul the result.)

19 December 1995: Walesa, backed by the outgoing interior minister Andrzej Milczanowski, convenes a meeting of selected parliamentary and legal personalities to discuss an alleged 'grave threat to state security'. It is claimed that prime minister Jozef Oleksy spied for the Soviet Union and Russia during the period 1982 to 1995.

23 December 1995: Alexander Kwasniewski is sworn in as president.

9 January 1996: Walesa says that he is thinking of applying for his old job as an electrician in the Gdansk shipyard. (On 2 April 1996 he returned to his job as

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