Aleksander Kwaśniewski (Polish pronunciation: [alɛˈksandɛr kfaɕˈɲɛfskʲi] (listen); born 15 November 1954) is a Polish politician and journalist. He served as the President of Poland from 1995 to 2005. He was born in Białogard, and during Communist rule, he was active in the Socialist Union of Polish Students and was the Minister for Sport in the Communist government during the 1980s. After the fall of Communism, he became a leader of the left-wing Social Democracy of the Republic of Poland, successor to the former ruling Polish United Workers' Party, and a co-founder of the Democratic Left Alliance.
Kwaśniewski was elected to the presidency in 1995, defeating the incumbent, Lech Wałęsa. He was re-elected to a second and final term as president in 2000 in a decisive first-round victory. Although he was praised for attempting to further integrate Poland into the European Union, he faced criticism for involving the country in the Iraq War. His term ended on 23 December 2005, when he handed over power to his elected successor, conservative Lech Kaczyński.
Kwaśniewski at the 2004 World Economic Forum
|3rd President of Poland|
23 December 1995 – 23 December 2005
|Preceded by||Lech Wałęsa|
|Succeeded by||Lech Kaczyński|
|Leader of Social Democracy|
30 January 1990 – 23 December 1995
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||Józef Oleksy|
|Born||15 November 1954|
|Political party||Independent (1995–present)|
|Polish United Workers' Party (1977–1990)|
Social Democracy (1990–1995)
Jolanta Konty (m. 1979)
|Alma mater||University of Gdańsk|
From 1973-77, Kwaśniewski studied Transport Economics and Foreign Trade at the University of Gdańsk, although he never graduated. He became politically active at this time, and joined the ruling Polish United Workers' Party (PZPR) in 1977, remaining a member until it was dissolved in 1990. An activist in the communist student movement until 1982, he held, among other positions, the chairmanship of the University Council of the Socialist Union of Polish Students (SZSP) from 1976–77 and the vice-chairmanship of the Gdańsk Voivodship Union from 1977-79. Kwaśniewski was a member of the SZSP supreme authorities from 1977-82. From November 1981 to February 1984 he was the editor-in-chief of the communist-controlled student weekly ITD, then editor-in-chief of the daily communist youth Sztandar Młodych from 1984-85. He was a co-founder of the first computer-science periodical in Poland, Bajtek, in 1985.
From 1985-87, Kwaśniewski was Minister for Youth Affairs in the Zbigniew Messner government, and then Chairman of the Committee for Youth and Physical Culture till June 1990. He joined the government of Mieczysław Rakowski, first as a Cabinet Minister and then as chairman of the government Social-Political Committee from October 1988 to September 1989. A participant in the Round-Table negotiations, he co-chaired the task group for trade-union pluralism with Tadeusz Mazowiecki and Romuald Sosnowski. As the PZPR was wound up, he became a founding member of the post-communist Social Democratic Party of the Republic of Poland (SdRP) from January to February 1990, and its first chairman until he assumed the presidency in December 1995. He was also one of the founding members of the coalition Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) in 1991. Kwaśniewski was an activist in the Student Sports Union from 1975–79 and the Polish Olympic Committee (PKOL); he later served as PKOL president from 1988-91.
Running for the Sejm from the Warsaw constituency in 1991, he won the largest number of votes (148,533), although did not win an absolute majority. Kwaśniewski headed the parliamentary caucus of the Democratic Left Alliance in his first and second terms (1991–1995). He was a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and chairman of the Constitutional Committee of the National Assembly from November 1993 to November 1995.
In an often bitter campaign, Kwaśniewski won the presidential election in 1995, collecting 51.7 percent of votes in the run-off, against 48.3 percent for the incumbent, Lech Wałęsa, the former Solidarity leader. Kwaśniewski's campaign slogans were "Let's choose the future" (Wybierzmy przyszłość) and "A Poland for all" (Wspólna Polska). Political opponents disputed his victory, and produced evidence to show that he had lied about his education in registration documents and public presentations. There was also some mystery over his graduation from university. A law court confirmed that Kwaśniewski had lied about his record—and this did not come to light until after the election—but did not penalise him for it. Kwaśniewski took the presidential oath of office on 23 December 1995. Later the same day, he was sworn in as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces at the Warszawa First Fighter Wing, in Mińsk Mazowiecki.
His political course resembled that of Wałęsa's in several key respects, such as the pursuit of closer ties to the European Union and NATO. Kwaśniewski also continued the transition to a market economy and the privatization of state-owned enterprises, although with less energy than his predecessor. Hoping to be seen as "the president of all Poles", including his political opponents, he quit the Social Democratic Party after election. Later, he formed a coalition with the rightist government of Jerzy Buzek with few major conflicts and on several occasions he stood against movements of the Democratic Left Alliance government of Leszek Miller. At one moment, support for Kwaśniewski reached as high as 80% in popularity polls; most of the time it was over 50%.
In 1997, Polish newspaper Zycie reported that Kwaśniewski had met former KGB officer Vladimir Alganov at the Baltic sea resort Cetniewo in 1994. First Kwaśniewski denied ever meeting Alganov and filed a libel suit against the newspaper. Eventually Kwaśniewski admitted that he had met Alganov on official occasions, but denied meeting him in Cetniewo.
Kwaśniewski's greatest achievement was his ability to bring about a new Constitution of Poland to replace the modified Stalinist document then still in use. The failure to create a new document had been a criticism often leveled at Wałęsa. Kwaśniewski actively campaigned for its approval in the subsequent referendum, and he signed it into law on 16 July 1997. He took an active part in the efforts to secure Polish membership of NATO. He headed Poland's delegation at the 1997 Madrid summit, where Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary were promised membership; and the Washington summit, where on 26 February 1999, during the Kosovo conflict, which he supported, he signed the instruments ratifying Poland's membership of NATO. He also took active part in promoting further enlargement of the alliance, speaking out in favor of membership for a further seven states (see Prague summit) and the open-door policy that leaves open the option of further members. He was an author of the 2002 Riga Initiative, a forum for cooperation between Central European states, aimed towards further enlargement of NATO and the European Union.
An advocate of regional cooperation in Central and Eastern Europe, Kwaśniewski hosted a summit of the region's leaders at Łańcut in 1996. Speaking out against the danger organized crime posed to the region, he submitted a draft of a convention on fighting organised crime to the UN in 1996. He was an active participant at meetings of regional leaders in Portorož in 1997, Levoča in 1998, and Lviv and Yalta in 1999. After a history of sometimes acrimonious relations with Lithuania, Kwaśniewski was a driving force behind the presidential summit in Vilnius in 1997, at which the two countries' presidents signed a treaty of friendship. Poland subsequently became one of the strongest advocates of Lithuanian membership in NATO and the European Union and the strongest advocate of Ukraine in Europe. In 2000 he was re-elected in the first round of voting, collecting 53.9 percent of the vote. His election campaign slogan was: "A home for all—Poland" (Dom wszystkich—Polska). On 23 December 2000 he took office for the second term.
Following the 11 September 2001 attacks, Kwaśniewski organized an international conference in Warsaw, with participation of leaders from Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe to strengthen regional activities in fighting international terrorism. Under Kwaśniewski's leadership, Poland became a strong ally of the United States in the War on Terror, and contributed troops in the Iraq War, a move that was highly controversial in Poland and Europe. Poland was in charge of a sector of Iraq after the removal of Saddam Hussein. Polish membership of the European Union became a reality on 1 May 2004, during Kwaśniewski's second term. Both he and his wife Jolanta had campaigned for approval of the EU accession treaty in June 2003. He strongly supported including mention of Europe's Christian roots into the European Constitution. Thanks to his close relations with Leonid Kuchma, in late 2004 he became a mediator in a political conflict in Ukraine – the Orange Revolution, and according to some commentators, he played the major role in its peaceful solution.
After the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture in December 2014, Kwasniewski admitted that he had agreed in 2003 to host a secret CIA black site in Poland, but that activities were to be carried out in accordance to Polish law. He said that a U.S. draft memorandum had stated that "people held in Poland are to be treated as prisoners of war and will be afforded all the rights they are entitled to", but due to time constraints the U.S. had not signed the memorandum. The U.S. had conducted activities in great secrecy at the site.
In December 2005, when his presidency was coming to an end, he granted clemency for a leftist politician Zbigniew Sobotka, who had been sentenced for 3.5 years of prison for revealing a state secret (effectively, he warned gangsters about an operation against them). Kwaśniewski changed the prison sentence to probation.
Another case of Kwaśniewski's controversial granting of pardons was the Peter Vogel case. The story goes back to 1971 when Piotr Filipczyński, a.k.a. Peter Vogel was sentenced to 25 years in jail for a brutal murder (shortened to 15 years in 1979). Surprisingly enough, in 1983 (during martial law in Poland) he was granted a passport and allowed to leave the country. He returned in 1990 soon earning the nickname "the accountant of the Left" as a former Swiss banker who took care of more than thirty accounts of Polish social democrats. Despite an arrest warrant issued in 1987, Vogel moved freely in Poland and was eventually arrested in 1998 in Switzerland. After Vogel's extradition to Poland, in 1999 Kwaśniewski initiated the procedure of granting him amnesty. In December 2005 (a few days before leaving his office) Kwaśniewski pardoned Vogel despite the negative opinion of the procurer.
Kwasniewski refused in 2003 to face a special parliamentary commission, which was set up to reveal all circumstances linked with Rywingate. Kwaśniewski argued, that the constitution did not allow parliamentary commissions to investigate the president, and there were no clear law opinions. The commission decided eventually not to summon Kwaśniewski. For a second time Kwaśniewski refused as a witness to face the commission investigating the privatization of Orlen petrol concern, in March 2005. He argued that the actions of commission members, being in opposition to the leftist government supported by him, were directed against him.
In 2007, IPN revealed that Kwaśniewski was registered during communist times as an agent "Alek" of the secret police, the Security Service (Służba Bezpieczeństwa – SB), from 1983 to 1989. Kwaśniewski himself denied having been an agent in a special statement, demanded from politicians by Polish law, and a court confirmed his statement.
On 7 March 2006, Kwaśniewski was appointed Distinguished Scholar in the Practice of Global Leadership at Georgetown University, where he teaches students in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service about contemporary European politics, the trans-Atlantic relationship, and democratization in Central and Eastern Europe. He also teaches a course on political leadership, convened by Professor Carol Lancaster, with former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar. He is also Chairman of the supervisory board of the International Centre for Policy Studies in Kiev, Ukraine and a member of the International Honorary Council of the European Academy of Diplomacy.
In 2008 Aleksander Kwaśniewski became Chairman of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation, a not-for-profit organization established to monitor tolerance in Europe, prepare practical recommendations to governments and international organisations on improving interreligious and interethnic relations on the continent. The organization is co-chaired by European Jewish Fund President Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor.
Since 2011, Kwaśniewski has served on the Leadership Council for Concordia, a nonpartisan, nonprofit based in New York City focused on promoting effective public-private collaboration to create a more prosperous and sustainable future.
Kwaśniewski was also involved with the EU talks with the Ukrainian government about the association agreement with the EU that the Ukrainian parliament failed to ratify in November 2013. After the Maidan unrest had installed the transitional government under Yatsenyuk, who signed the EU association agreement for Ukraine in 2014, Kwasniewski took up in a director's post in the gas company ″Burisma Holdings Limited″ which owns licenses for the major Ukrainian gas fields.
In a plea agreement filed in United States Federal court on 14 September 2018, former Donald Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort admitted to organizing a group of former European heads of state to illegally lobby, starting in 2011, on behalf of then-Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. The plea agreement describes one of the heads of state involved in this secret lobbying as a "former Polish President" who "was also a representative of the European Parliament with oversight responsibility for Ukraine." At least one press report claimed that Kwaśniewski was this former Polish President.
Aleksander Kwaśniewski has been honored to date with the following decorations:
In 1979, Kwaśniewski married lawyer Jolanta Konty in a civil ceremony. They have one child: a daughter, Aleksandra (born 1981).
He identifies as an atheist.  In 2005, at the end of his second presidential term, the couple finalised their marriage in a low-key Catholic ceremony presided by Kwaśniewski's former presidential chaplain, in the presidential chapel.
Kwasniewski had maintained a commanding lead in opinion polls, despite Solidarity attack ads that included video of him and an aide appearing to mock Polish-born Pope John Paul II in 1997. Poland is an overwhelmingly Roman Catholic country, and Kwasniewski is an atheist.
|Party political offices|
| Social Democracy nominee for President of Poland
|New political party|| Democratic Left Alliance nominee for President of Poland
| Labour Union nominee for President of Poland
| President of Poland
Presidential elections were held in Poland on 5 November 1995, with a second round on 19 November. Aleksander Kwaśniewski and Lech Wałęsa passed to the second round. Kwaśniewski won the election, collecting 51.7 percent of votes in the run-off, against 48.3 percent for Lech Wałęsa, the former Solidarity leader.1996 in Poland
Events during the year 1996 in Poland.2000 Polish presidential election
The 2000 Polish presidential election took place in Poland on 8 October 2000. Incumbent President Aleksander Kwaśniewski was easily re-elected in the first round after winning more than 50% of the votes.2005 Polish presidential election
The 2005 Presidential elections were held in Poland on October 9 and October 23, 2005. The outgoing President of Poland, Aleksander Kwaśniewski, had served two five-year terms and was unable to stand for a third term. Lech Kaczyński defeated Donald Tusk to become President of Poland.Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland
The Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland (Polish: Kancelaria Prezydenta Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej), instituted in 1989, is a governmental institution composed of the immediate staff of the President of Poland that assists and is governed by the President. The objective of the Chancellery is to provide assistance to the President in its multiple echelons of staff, which include the Presidential cabinet and the Chancellery of National Security. The Chief of the Chancellery (Szef Kancelarii) heads the institution; the Chief is appointed by and immediately responsible to the President.Dariusz Baliszewski
Dariusz Baliszewski is a Polish historian, journalist and writer. Author of television show "Rewizja nadzwyczajna", he is a common author of historical articles to one of the biggest Polish magazines, Wprost. He specializes in Polish 20th century history, and is known for several controversial hypotheses, like those related to the death of general Władysław Sikorski.
In 1999, for his television creativity and professionalism in work, president Aleksander Kwaśniewski awarded him: Silver Cross of Merit.European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation
The European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (also ECTR) is a non-governmental organization that was established in Paris, France on 7 October 2008 to monitor tolerance in Europe. The Chairman of the Council is former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (until 2013 - former President of Poland Aleksander Kwaśniewski), and the President of the Council is Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor.Ireland–Poland relations
Ireland–Poland relations refers to the diplomatic relations between Ireland and Poland. Ireland is home to a Polish community totaling approximately 150,000 people. The Polish language is the most spoken foreign language in Ireland. Both nations are members of the Council of Europe, European Union and the OECD.Jolanta Kwaśniewska
Jolanta Kwaśniewska (Polish: [jɔˈlanta kfaɕˈɲɛfska], née Konty, [ˈkɔntɨ]; born 3 June 1955) is a Polish lawyer and charity activist who was First Lady of Poland between 1995 and 2005, as the wife of the then President Aleksander Kwaśniewski.
She met the future president while she was a law student at the University of Gdańsk, and they married in 1979. During her studies she was the president of the executive committee of the Socialist Union of Polish Students, in which her husband was also active.Kwaśniewska has been widely involved in charity work, and in 1997 founded the charity foundation Porozumienie bez bariercode: pol promoted to code: pl ("Understanding Without Barriers"), whose aims include providing help and support to sick and disabled children.She is also the host of the television show Lekcja stylu ("Lessons in Style") on TVN Style.Józef Zych
Joseph Zych ([ˈjuzɛv ˈzɨx], born 23 March 1938) is a Polish politician of the Polish People's Party. He was Sejm Marshal from 1995 to 1997 (and several times as Senior Marshall).
As a Sejm Marshal Zych administered the oath of office for the first term of President Aleksander Kwaśniewski in December 1995.Kwaśniewski
Kwaśniewski (feminine Kwaśniewska, plural Kwaśniewscy) is the surname of:
Aleksander Kwaśniewski (born 1954), Polish politician and journalist
Aleksandra Kwaśniewska (born 1978), Polish singer-songwriter
Dorota Kwaśniewska (born 1970), Polish teacher and politician
Dylan Kwasniewski (born 1995), American auto racing driver
Jan Kwaśniewski (born 1937), Polish physician
Janina Kwaśniewska (born 1928), Polish female sailor
Jerzy Kwaśniewski (born 1942), Polish sociologist
Jolanta Kwaśniewska (born 1955), Polish lawyer and charity activist
Krzysztof Kwaśniewski (born 1927), Polish sociologist
Maria Kwaśniewska (1913–2007), Polish athlete
Mikołaj Kwaśniewski (1871–1941), Polish politician
Paweł Kwaśniewski (born 1963), Polish contemporary artist, performer
Rafał Kwaśniewski (born 1966), Polish rock guitarist/singer, songwriter
Stanisław Kwaśniewski (1886–1956), Brigadier General WP
Stefan Kwaśniewski (1898–1944), journalist, columnist, a member of the Warsaw Uprising
Walenty Kwaśniewski (1752–1813), Brigadier General WP
Włodzimierz Kwaśniewski, official of the Second Republic, connected with Lviv
Zbigniew Kwaśniewski (born 1948), Polish footballerIt sometimes takes the form Quasniewski, especially in German-speaking areas.List of ambassadors of Poland to China
The Polish Ambassador to China is the official representative of the Government in Warsaw to the Government of the People's Republic of China.NaTemat.pl
NaTemat.pl (lit. OnTopic) is a Polish language website created by Tomasz Lis on 22 February 2012. It includes a wide variety of content including latest events, politics, lifestyle, culture, social issues and economic and sports information.
After seven months since the creation of naTemat, the boss and editor-in-chief Tomasz Machała reported that the website had exceeded the one million unique visitors. According to the January 2013 study of the Polish internet by Megapanel_PBI/Gemius, the website was 15th place in the category of "information and journalism" with 940,495 real users.The service combines editorial content and blogs. The approximately 400 authors include Janusz Palikot, Jacek Dehnel, Justyna Kowalczyk, Marcin Orliński, Jacek Rostowski, Krzysztof Hołowczyc, Aleksander Kwaśniewski, Krystyna Kofta, Karol Okrasa.Peru–Poland relations
Peru–Poland relations refers to the historical and bilateral relationship between Peru and Poland.Polish involvement in the 2003 invasion of Iraq
On March 17, 2003, then Polish President Aleksander Kwaśniewski announced that Poland would send about 2,000 troops to the Persian Gulf to take part in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Polish soldiers had been present in the region since July 2002 and combat was first confirmed on March 24. These formed the fourth of the larger military contributions to the forces arrayed against Iraq (with the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia).Social Democracy of the Republic of Poland
Social Democracy of the Republic of Poland (SdRP) (Polish: Socjaldemokracja Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej, SdRP) was a social-democratic political party in Poland created in 1990, shortly after the Revolutions of 1989. The party was the main party of the successor parties to the Polish United Workers Party (PZPR).
Among the creators and leading figures of SdRP were the former Polish president Aleksander Kwaśniewski, former speaker of the Sejm Józef Oleksy and former Prime Minister Leszek Miller.
On 15 April 1999, the SdRP was folded into the Democratic Left Alliance.Sława Przybylska
Sława Przybylska-Krzyżanowska (born 2 November 1932 in Międzyrzec Podlaski, Poland) is a Polish singer who became popular in 1957 with the song Pamiętasz była jesień ("Do you remember, it was autumn...") Before her musical career, she graduated from art school and then studied foreign trade at the Central School of Foreign Service.Polish President Aleksander Kwaśniewski awarded her the Officer's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta.University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn
The University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn was established on 1 September 1999, in accordance with the new Statute of Sejm signed by Polish President Aleksander Kwaśniewski, as well as Minister of Education Mirosław Handke, in August of the same year. Ryszard Górecki became its first chancellor. The Faculty of Theology was established with an agreement between Polish Episcopate and the government, in the presence of Cardinal Józef Glemp, among others. The university's first academic year started in October 1999.The core structure of the university was based on an agreement between the academic senates of three institutions of higher learning already established in the city: the Academy of Agriculture and Technology, the Pedagogical Institute, and the Warmia Institute of Theology.
The university has 16 faculties, out of which eight hold full academic rights and therefore entitle the university to operate as an autonomous unit.Vladimir Alganov
Vladimir Petrovich Alganov (Russian: Владимир Петрович Алганов; born 22 October 1952 in Leningrad) is a Russian spy. He was Soviet KGB officer in Warsaw, Poland in the 1980s and Russian SVR officer in the same city in the 1990s.
In 1996, Poland's Prime Minister Józef Oleksy resigned because of his links to Alganov.Alganov was deported from Poland in 1997.In 2005 Lithuanian authorities said that Alganov had been issued a long-term Lithuanian visa in 2002 and Alganov had met managers of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant.In 2003, Alganov secretly met Jan Kulczyk in a restaurant in Vienna, Austria. The conversation was recorded by Polish intelligence officers. According to Antoni Macierewicz, a member of the investigative board:
Alganov offered Kulczyk $5 million to influence Poland's then-President Aleksander Kwaśniewski.
Alganov said that six months earlier, Russians had paid $1m to the Minister of Finance Wiesław Kaczmarek for the Russian company Lukoil to win the privatization tender for a refinery in Gdansk.Also present at the meeting was Aleksander Żagiel, Alganov's Vienna-based business partner.
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|Republic of Poland|
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