Bio On Lech Kaczynski - President of the Republic of Poland


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Bio On Lech Kaczynski - President of the Republic of Poland  (see Polish President Lech Kaczynski Killed In Plane Crash)

Lech Kaczyński was born on June 18th, 1949 in Warsaw. He is the son of Jadwiga Kaczyńska (née Jasiewicz) and Rajmund Kaczyński, and has a twin brother, Jarosław Kaczyński, chairman of the Law and Justice party. His mother – a graduate of Polish who taught in high schools in Warsaw for several years and worked at the Institute of Literary Research – was a nurse in the Grey Ranks during World War II.

His father – an engineer who worked for a design company and a lecturer at Warsaw University of Technology – was a soldier of the Polish Home Army (AK) and a participant in the Warsaw Uprising in the “Baszta” regiment (he was decorated with the Cross of Valor and the Silver Cross of Virtuti Militari). 

A pupil of two high schools in Warsaw: the Joachim Lelewel High School and the 39th Polish Air Force High School in the Bielany district. In 1967 he started his studies at the Faculty of Law and Administration at the University of Warsaw. After defending his master’s thesis in 1971, he moved to Sopot to conduct research for the Labour Law Department at the University of Gdańsk under the supervision of doc. dr hab.

Roman Korolec, then after his death under the supervision of prof. dr hab. Czesław Jackowiak. In 1980 he successfully defended his doctoral dissertation in labour law entitled: Zakres swobody stron w zakresie kształtowania treści stosunku pracy (The extent of freedom of the parties in shaping the content of an employment relationship), and in 1990 - his postdoctoral dissertation entitled: Renta Socjalna (Social Pension). 

In the years 1996-1997 he was a profesor nadzwyczajny [a post at a university offered to persons holding a postdoctoral degree] at the University of Gdańsk, and from 1999 on he has been a professor at the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw. 

Democratic opposition 

From 1976, in response to an appeal of the Workers’ Defence Committee, Lech Kaczyński took up the action of collecting money for oppressed workers; the money was handed over with the help of his mother Jadwiga to Jan Józef Lipski. In 1977 Lech Kaczyński started to work with the Intervention Bureau of the Workers’ Defence Committee. A year later, he got involved in activities of the Free Trade Unions. He provided training sessions and lectures for workers in labour law and history. He wrote articles for Robotnik Wybrzeża (Worker of the Coast) and distributed among workers such papers as Robotnik (The Worker) and Biuletyn Informacyjny KSS KOR (Information Bulletin of the Committee for Social Self-defence – Workers’ Defence Committee). 


In August 1980 he was appointed as an adviser to the Gdańsk Inter-Enterprise Strike Committee in Gdańsk Shipyard. He is the author of several provisions contained in the Gdańsk Agreement as well as of a part of the statutes of the Solidarność trade union concerning strikes, trade sections and collective agreements. He was the head of the Intervention Bureau and manager of the Ongoing Analysis Bureau at the Inter-Enterprise Strike Committee. On September 17th, 1980 he supported the idea of Jan Olszewski, Jarosław Kaczyński and Karol Modzelewski, which was that all the newly established trade unions should unite into one national union called Solidarność (Solidarity).  


In 1981 he was a delegate to the 1st National Congress of the Solidarność Independent and Self-Governing Trade Union (NSZZ “Solidarność”) and chairman of the 11th Congressional Committee Team for relations with the Polish United Workers’ Party. From July 1981 – a member of the regional management of NSZZ “Solidarność” in Gdańsk. 

He was interned under martial law for his involvement in the Solidarity movement. He was kept in an internment camp in Strzebielinek from December 1981 to October 1982. After his release, he returned to trade union activities and was a member of the underground authorities of NSZZ “Solidarność”. From 1982, together with Jacek Merkel and Aram Rybicki, he was a member of Lech Wałęsa's “team” in Gdańsk. From 1983 he took part in meetings of the Temporary Coordination Commission (TCC) and was its adviser, together with his brother Jarosław. From 1985 he was a member of the regional Council for Aid to Political Prisoners in Gdańsk.

From January 1986 he was a TCC member and took part in the work of the secret Regional Coordination Commission of NSZZ "Solidarność". From July 1986 he performed the function of TCC secretary. From December 1987, when TCC and the “S” Temporary Council combined into one body, Lech Kaczyński became a member of the Secretariat of the National Executive Committee of NSZZ "Solidarność", next to Jarosław Kaczyński, Andrzej Celiński and Henryk Wujec. 

In September 1988 he participated in talks between the opposition and representatives of the government in Magdalenka near Warsaw. He joined the so-called “six” appointed by the National Executive Committee, i.e. the management of “Solidarność” for talks at the Round Table. From December 1988 he was a member of the Citizens’ Committee led by Lech Wałęsa. From February to April 1989 he took part in the round table talks, working in a team dealing with the issue of pluralism of trade unions. From April to July 1989, he was a member of the Coordinating Commission for negotiations between the government and “Solidarność”.

In April 1989 he became a member of the Presidium of the National Executive Committee of NSZZ "Solidarność" and performed duties as its deputy chairman. In May 1990 he was appointed the 1st deputy chairman of NSZZ "Solidarność" (as a matter of fact, he managed the union during Lech Wałęsa’s presidential campaign and after Wałęsa was elected President of the Republic of Poland). In February 1991 he ran for the position of chairman of "Solidarność". Defeated by Marian Krzaklewski, he took 2nd place in the election. 

Political involvement 

In the parliamentary election in June 1989 he was chosen as senator for the Gdańsk region. In August 1989 he supported Jarosław Kaczyński in his work on forming a coalition of NSZZ “Solidarność” with the United People’s Party and the Democratic Party. 

From March 12th to October 31st, 1991 he was Minister of State in charge of Security in the Office of the President of the Republic of Poland (this post no longer exists). He supervised the work of the National Security Bureau. He resigned from the job in the Office of the President of the Republic of Poland after a conflict with Lech Wałęsa and the head of his office, Mieczysław Wachowski. 

In the parliamentary election in 1991 he won the seat of deputy to the Sejm for a 1st term from the list of the Centre Agreement party from the Nowy Sącz constituency. He was actively involved in the activities of four committees, where he dealt with issues connected with legislation and social policy. From November 1991 he was chairman of the Administration and Internal Affairs Committee. 

From the beginning of his political activities in free Poland, he called for vetting and decommunization in public life. 

On February 14th, 1992 he was appointed president of the Supreme Chamber of Control. He performed this function until 1995. As the SCC president he considerably strengthened social trust in this institution (an increase in trust from 30 to 60%) and transformed the chamber into an effective state auditing body. He was a member of the Administration Council of the International Labour Organization at UNO as well as a member of the Presidium of EUROSAI (the European Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions). 

In the years 1995-97 he was deputy chairman of the program board of the Institute of Public Affairs managed by Lena Kolarska-Bobińska. 

In the years 1999-2000 – a member of the Codification Committee operating at the Minister of Labour and Social Policy. 

On June 12th, 2000 he was appointed by Prime Minister, Jerzy Buzek, as Minister of Justice. He soon became one of the most popular members of the government, the second-most popular Polish politician after the then President, Aleksander Kwaśniewski. His actions aimed at stopping the liberal criminal justice policies exercised in Poland for many years brought about an increase in social trust. He was effective in preventing crime and corruption as well as in the fight against the mafia. 

In 2001 he took the lead of the Law and Justice National Committee, a new right-wing party he created together with Jarosław Kaczyński. He was elected deputy to the Sejm for a 4th term from the Gdańsk constituency. He performed the function of chairman of the parliamentary Constitutional Responsibility Committee. 

On November 18th, 2002 he won a direct election for Mayor of the City of Warsaw with a considerable majority. He started his term of office in the capital city under slogans calling for the elimination of corruption and restoration of law and order. He took some effective actions which have improved security in the city. 

On August 1st, 2004, at the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising, he opened the Warsaw Rising Museum. 

He resigned as Mayor of the Capital City the day before he took office as President of the Republic of Poland. 

President of the Republic of Poland 

On October 23rd, 2005, polling 54.04% of votes, Lech Kaczyński defeated his rival Donald Tusk in the second round and won the presidential election. 

He took office on December 23rd, 2005 by swearing an oath in front of the National Assembly. 


Lech Kaczyński's wife, Maria, was an economist. Their daughter Marta is married to a lawyer and both are legal trainees. Mr and Mrs Kaczyński have two granddaughters: six-year-old Ewa and two-year-old Martyna. 

The presidential couple had a great liking for animals.

The family owned two dogs – a mongrel called Lula and a Scottish terrier called Tytus as well as a cat, Rudolf, adopted from an animal shelter.

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