October 29, 1994 |
For a moment it looked like a flashback from the 1980s, a dramatic televised scene of Poland's struggle to overthrow communism, featuring top players in the Solidarity reform movement. Solidarity strategist Bronislaw Geremek issued a stern warning about the sanctity of democracy. Solidarity journalist Tadeusz Mazowiecki lectured about civilian control of the military. And Solidarity activist Wladyslaw Frasyniuk accused the Polish president of authoritarian tendencies.
September 3, 1994 |
One of Europe's strictest abortion laws survived a strenuous challenge Friday when Polish lawmakers failed to override a presidential veto of legislation that would have made abortions more readily available. The vote was a victory for President Lech Walesa, and it staved off a high-stakes power struggle between the staunchly antiabortion president and the governing coalition, which is led by former Communists who favor easing abortion restrictions.
August 18, 1994 |
President Lech Walesa called Wednesday for the removal of the new head of Poland's civilian intelligence service, saying his history as a top Communist-era spy could sour relations with the West. Walesa praised the "professionalism and many years of experience" of Marian Zacharski, who was appointed to the post Monday, but said his exploits as a Soviet Bloc spy overshadowed his credentials.
August 6, 1994 |
It has never been possible for Polish President Lech Walesa to separate his public and private lives, despite a longstanding tradition in Poland of doing so. As a Solidarity leader in the 1980s, his Gdansk apartment was also union headquarters, where journalists and political activists shared the same cramped space with Walesa, his wife and their eight children. During his internment in 1982, his wife, Danuta, was thrust into the role of chief spokesperson. A year later, Danuta and the Walesas' eldest son, Bogdan, traveled to Norway to accept the Nobel Peace Prize because Walesa was afraid he would not be allowed to return to Poland if he left to collect the prize himself.
September 21, 1993 |
President Lech Walesa took a gamble four months ago when he dissolved the stormy Polish Parliament and called for new elections, only the second in post-Communist Poland. "The decisive voice returns to you, the people," he declared in a televised address at the time. "Let the nation speak. Let it choose those whom it trusts." The nation spoke on Sunday, but it did not say what Walesa expected to hear.
May 29, 1993 |
President Lech Walesa weighed whether to dissolve Poland's first democratically elected Parliament after a no-confidence vote brought down the government Friday. Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka's year-old centrist government fell victim to the political jousting that has plagued Parliament's 20-odd parties. The vote plunged Poland into political chaos that appeared likely to delay economic reforms and damage its international prestige.
September 27, 1992 |
The original English use of the word "revolution"--before it was expropriated by American and French rebels--suggests a turning back, a rotation, the movement of a wheel to its earlier position. Poland's Solidarity revolution may have been just such a shift, as conservative as it was radical. Those flushed, overalled strikers in August 1980 were not only rejecting a corrupt version of communism, they were clamoring for the rebirth of history suppressed during five decades of totalitarian rule.
August 2, 1992 |
The Parliament approved constitutional changes to strengthen the prime minister and president and limit the powers of the fragmented legislature. The changes approved by the lower house, or Sejm, give the prime minister the right to ask Parliament for special powers to rule by decree and ensure smoother passage of needed economic legislation. They also allow the president to appoint the prime minister and the Cabinet, but his nominees must receive approval of 231 votes in the 460-seat chamber.
July 9, 1992 |
President Lech Walesa asked Parliament on Wednesday to approve Hanna Suchocka as Poland's first woman prime minister after she ended weeks of political deadlock by mustering a new majority coalition. In a letter to the Sejm, or lower house, Walesa also asked for the dismissal of Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak, who had earlier offered to step down after his failure to form a government, the presidential office said in a statement.