Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

'Donald Trump is rolling back the clock on diversity in the cabinet'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Did France's left inflate turnout figures in round one of the primary?

Read more

ACROSS AFRICA

Dozens killed in attack on military camp in Mali

Read more

THE DEBATE

Splintered left: French Socialists divided ahead of primary run-off (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Splintered left: Are Europe's Social Democrats obsolete? (part 2)

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Gambia: New president says Jammeh has agreed to cede power

Read more

ACROSS AFRICA

France finally grants citizenship to Senegalese veterans

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Pollution threatens island paradise of Mauritius, and one Cameroonian expat's quest to bring safe drinking water to his country

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Publicis boss encourages firms to move staff to Paris post-Brexit

Read more

Europe

Bronislaw Komorowski sworn in as president

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-08-06

Bronislaw Komorowski was sworn in as Poland's new president on Friday, having emerged victorious in snap elections forced after former president Lech Kaczynski died in a plane crash on April 10.

AFP - Bronislaw Komorowski was sworn in Friday as Poland's new president after a snap election forced by the air crash death of Lech Kaczynski, but his defeated rival snubbed the official ceremony.
  
Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the bereaved identical twin of the late president, was not in parliament for the inauguration, with a party spokesman suggesting the president's camp had insulted his dead brother's memory during the campaign.
  
In his inaugural address, the free-market liberal Komorowski vowed to support Poland's government in developing ties within the European Union and NATO, with strategic partner the United States as well as with Russia.
  
"We want to reinforce, inspire and make the Old Continent (Europe) more dynamic," the 58-year-old told both houses of parliament as he was sworn in as as Poland's fourth democratically-elected president.
  
Komorowski named Brussels, Paris and Berlin as the destinations for his first official foreign visits.
  
Asked why his rival Kaczynski stayed away, a spokesman for his conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party told AFP: "Civic Platform politicans made brutal verbal attacks on president Lech Kaczynski when he was alive and some continue to do so even after his death."
  
"In my opinion, this is why Jaroslaw Kaczynski did not attend today's inauguration," Mariusz Blaszczak told AFP.
  
Solidarity legend Lech Walesa, Poland's first democratically-elected president after the collapse of communism, did attend his swearing-in however, along with former president Aleksander Kwasniewski.
  
A liberal with political roots in the governing Civic Platform (PO) party of Prime Minister Donald Tusk, Komorowski won the July 4 second round of the snap presidential election scoring 53.01 percent of the vote.
  
Parliamentarians held a minute's silence to honour the victims of the April 10 air crash which claimed Lech Kaczynski, his wife and 94 other Polish dignitaries including top military brass and the central bank governor.
  
They were killed when their presidential jet crashed in bad weather in western Russia en route to ceremonies marking a WWII Soviet massacre of Polish officers.
  
Komorowski was later to attend a high mass at Warsaw's St. John's cathedral.
  
A strident anti-communist in his youth and committed Solidarity member Komorowski is a consensus politician known for gravitas.
  
A historian by training and a former teacher, Komorowski has won seats in six successive parliamentary elections since 1991.
  
Following the 1989 demise of communism in Poland, Komorowski was deputy defence minister in three governments in the 1990s, before taking the helm of the ministry in 2000 and 2001.
  
In 2007, after Civic Platform trounced the conservative Law and Justice party, he became speaker of parliament -- a post that meant he became interim president after Kaczynski was killed.
  
He was born on June 4, 1952 in Oborniki Slaskie, southern Poland, to parents who had been expelled from what is now Lithuania by Soviet forces after World War II.
  
A married father of five, Komorowski has aristocratic roots and even a link to the Belgian royal family.

Date created : 2010-08-06

  • POLAND

    Bronislaw Komorowski - the dawn of a new liberal age

    Read more

  • POLAND

    Komorowski wins presidential poll in final results

    Read more

  • POLAND

    Poles pick new president in snap election

    Read more

COMMENT(S)