Coalitions Prove Too Fragile to Govern
In 2005, conservative Lech Kaczynski became the new president,
replacing former Communist Aleksander Kwasniewski, and Kazimierz
Marcinkiewicz was appointed prime minister. In July 2006, the immensely
popular and well-respected prime minister resigned abruptly, a move many
believe was the result of his difficulties in working with President
Kaczynski. The president then appointed his twin brother—Jaroslaw
Kaczynski, leader of the Law and Justice Party—as prime
Prime Minister Kaczynski formed a fragile majority coalition with two
small parties, the Self-Defence Party and the League of Polish Families.
After months of political turmoil, the coalition fell apart in Aug.
2007, as Kaczynski sacked four ministers from the partner parties. In
September, Kaczynski called for early elections and Parliament voted to
The pro-European Union Civic Platform won October's elections, and formed a coalition government with the Peasants Party. Donald Tusk became prime minister in November.
On Aug. 14, 2008, Poland, after months of stalling, agreed to allow the
United States to install an anti-missile system on its soil. The move by
Poland was seen as a strategic one intended to defend itself from the
threat of a similar incursion by Russia and to establish closer ties with
the West. Russia said that Poland was not in danger of retaliation. On
Aug. 20, U.S. Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice and Poland's Foreign
Minister Radek Sikorski, signed the deal in Warsaw. Rice stressed that the
missile system, which is scheduled to be in operation by 2012, is
"defensive and aimed at no one." President Barack Obama abandoned plans for the missile shield in September 2009, opting instead to install a smaller, more mobile system that can destroy short- and medium-range Iranian missiles.
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