Andrzej Duda

Andrzej Sebastian Duda (Polish pronunciation: ['andʐɛj ˈduda]; born 16 May 1972) is a Polish lawyer and politician who has served as president of Poland since 6 August 2015.[3] Before becoming president, Andrzej Duda was a member of Polish Lower House (Sejm) from 2011 to 2014 and the European Parliament from 2014 to 2015.[4]


Andrzej Duda
Prezydent Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej Andrzej Duda.jpg
President of Poland
Assumed office
6 August 2015
Prime MinisterEwa Kopacz
Beata Szydło
Mateusz Morawiecki
Preceded byBronisław Komorowski
Member of the European Parliament
In office
1 July 2014 – 25 May 2015
Constituency10 - Kraków
Member of the Sejm
In office
8 November 2011 – 1 July 2014
Constituency13 - Kraków II
Member of the Kraków City Council
In office
2 December 2010 – 8 November 2011
Constituency2 - Prądnik Biały/Krowodrza
Undersecretary of State in the Chancellery of the President
In office
16 January 2008 – 6 July 2010
PresidentLech Kaczyński
vacant
Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Justice
In office
1 August 2006 – 15 November 2007
MinisterZbigniew Ziobro
Personal details
Born
Andrzej Sebastian Duda

(1972-05-16) 16 May 1972 (age 48)
Kraków, Poland
Political partyIndependent (2015–present)
Other political
affiliations
Law and Justice (2005–2015)
Freedom Union (2000–2001)
Spouse(s)Agata Kornhauser (m. 1994)
Children1 daughter
ResidencePresidential Palace
Alma materJagiellonian University
Salary~85,000 € annual [1][2]
AwardsPOL Order Orła Białego BAR.svg POL Polonia Restituta Wielki BAR.svg POR Ordem do Merito Gra-Cruz BAR.svg Grand Crest Ordre de Leopold.png CZE Rad Bileho Lva 1 tridy BAR.svg Order Stara planina ribbon.png St Olavs Orden storkors stripe.svg Star of Romania Ribbon.PNG FIN Order of the White Rose Grand Cross BAR.png GRE Order Redeemer 1Class.png LVA Order of the Three Stars - Commander BAR.png LTU Order of Vytautas the Great with the Golden Chain BAR.png SVK Rad Bieleho Dvojkriza 1 triedy BAR.svg

Andrzej Duda was the presidential candidate for the Law and Justice party (PiS), during the 2015 presidential election in May 2015. In the first round of voting, Andrzej Duda received 5,179,092 votes – 34.76% of valid votes. In the second round of voting, Andrzej Duda received 51.55% of the vote, beating the incumbent president Bronisław Komorowski, who received 48.45% of the vote. On 26 May 2015, Andrzej Duda resigned his party membership as the president-elect.

On 24 October 2019, he received the official support from PiS ahead of his re-election campaign in 2020. He finished first in the first round and then went on to defeat Rafał Trzaskowski in the runoff with 10,440,648 votes or 51.03% of the vote.[5] A year later, he tested positive for COVID-19.[6]

Early life and educationEdit

Duda was born on 16 May 1972 in Kraków, to Janina Milewska and Jan Tadeusz Duda, professors at the AGH University of Science and Technology. His grandfather fought in the Polish–Soviet War and later was a member of the Home Army during the Second World War.[7]

Between 1987 and 1991 Duda attended Jan III Sobieski High School, Kraków, where he excelled in Humanities.[8] He subsequently studied law at the Jagiellonian University. In October 2001, holding Master of Law degree, he was appointed as a research assistant in the Department of Administrative Law of the Jagiellonian University's Faculty of Law and Administration. In January 2005, Duda also obtained a Doctor of Law degree (LL.D.) at the Jagiellonian University. Due to his political career, he has been mostly on unpaid leave from the university. Since September 2006, except for a 13-month interval beginning in September 2010, when he returned to the university.[9] Additionally Duda worked as a lecturer at Mieszko I College of Education and Administration, Poznań.[10]

Political careerEdit

 
Former President Lech Kaczyński appointing Duda as undersecretary of state in the Chancellery of the President, 16 January 2008

Duda began his political career with the now-defunct Freedom Union Party in the early 2000s. After the parliamentary elections in 2005, he began his collaboration with the Law and Justice Party (PiS).[11] From 2006 to 2007, Andrzej Duda was an undersecretary of state in the Ministry of Justice. Then, from 2007 to 2008, Duda was a member of the Polish State Tribunal.

From 2008 to 2010, during the presidency of Lech Kaczyński, Duda was an undersecretary of state in the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland.[12] In 2010, he was an unsuccessful candidate to become the Mayor of Kraków as a PiS candidate,[13] but was more successful in the 2011 parliamentary election, where he received 79,981 votes for the Kraków area, and thus became member of the Sejm.[14]

In September 2013, the news magazine Polityka commended Duda for being one of the most active members of parliament, at the time, describing him as being open to opposition arguments and as refraining from personal attacks, as part of his role at the Commission for Constitutional Responsibility.[15] Duda remained a member of the Sejm until he was elected to the European Parliament in 2014.[16]

2015 presidential campaignEdit

As Bronisław Komorowski's first presidential term was expiring, Komorowski was able to seek re-election in a scheduled presidential election. Duda was Komorowski's Law and Justice rival in the election.

In the first round of the 2015 presidential election, Duda came first, receiving 5,179,092 votes and thus 34.76% of valid votes.[17]

In the second round Duda took 51.55% of the vote against the 48.45% share of his rival, then-incumbent president Bronisław Komorowski.[18] On 26 May 2015, he officially resigned from party membership.[19]

2020 presidential campaignEdit

In the first round of the 2020 presidential election, Duda appeared to come in first, receiving almost 44% of the votes. Warsaw mayor Rafał Trzaskowski came in second, with just over 30% of the vote. The second round took place on 12 July.[20] Duda won reelection.[21]

Presidency (2015–present)Edit

 
Andrzej Duda taking the oath of office, 6 August 2015
 
Duda and Xi Jinping signed a declaration on strategic partnership
 
Duda and his wife Agata Kornhauser-Duda with U.S. President Donald Trump and Melania Trump in Warsaw

The five-year term of Andrzej Duda began on 6 August 2015 with taking an oath of office during a National Assembly session.[22]

Duda rejected the European Union's proposal of migrant quotas to redistribute asylum seekers, saying: "I won’t agree to a dictate of the strong. I won’t back a Europe where the economic advantage of the size of a population will be a reason to force solutions on other countries regardless of their national interests".[23]

In September 2015 Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz declared that Poland, as an expression of “European solidarity”, would take in 2,000 people over the next two years, mainly from Syria and Eritrea (out of 3,700 originally requested).[24]

Duda and Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović were the originators of the Three Seas Initiative.[25]

Duda repeatedly met with general secretary of the Communist Party of China and China's leader, Xi Jinping,[26][27] stating that "Polish companies will benefit hugely" from China's Belt and Road Initiative.[28] Duda and Xi signed a declaration on strategic partnership in which they reiterated that Poland and China viewed each other as long-term strategic partners.[29] Duda said that he hope Poland will become a gateway to Europe for China.[30]

In September 2017, his approval rating stood at 71% and in February 2018, at 72%, a record surpassed only by Aleksander Kwaśniewski, whose approval ratings surpassed 75% from 1995 to 2005.[31][32]

Pardon of Mariusz KamińskiEdit

In November 2015, basing on Art. 139 of the Constitution of Poland, Duda pardoned former Central Anticorruption Bureau (CBA) head Mariusz Kamiński and three CBA officers convicted by a court of 1st instance in the so-called "Land Affair",[33] marking the first pardon granted by a president before reaching a final verdict.[34] According to some lawyers (including professors Jan Zimmermann – Andrzej Duda's doctorate promoter, Leszek Kubicki – former Minister of Justice and Andrzej Zoll – former president of the Constitutional Tribunal) Duda breached the Constitution of Poland.[35][36][37]

Constitutional crisisEdit

 
Andrzej Duda during a meeting with the Council of Seniors of the Sejm and the Council of Seniors of the Senate at the Sejm

Andrzej Duda has refused to swear in any of the five Constitutional Tribunal judge candidates selected by the Sejm of the VII term. Three of those were selected since 7 November 2015 whose election was declared constitutional.[38] On 3 and 9 December 2015 Duda swore in five other candidates for the same office selected by the Sejm of the VIII term.[39][40]

On 28 December 2015, Duda signed the Constitutional Tribunal bill (passed on 22 December 2015 by the Sejm), which unequivocally breaches the Constitution of Poland according to the National Council of the Judiciary of Poland,[41] the Public Prosecutor General[42] and the Polish Ombudsman.[43]

In June 2016, Duda rejected appointing 10 judges selected by the National Council of the Judiciary of Poland.[44]

In July 2017, Duda informed the public he had decided to veto two controversial judicial bills backed by the government and passed by both houses of the Polish parliament. The President's spokesman subsequently said that the third act – the common courts bill – would be signed.[45] The veto was just one example of Duda opposing the policies of PiS.[46]

Politics of memoryEdit

In February 2018, Duda said that he would sign into law Amendment to the Act on the Institute of National Remembrance, making it illegal to accuse 'the Polish nation' of complicity in the Holocaust and other Nazi German atrocities, a measure that has roiled relations with Israel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu going as far as accusing the Polish government of "Holocaust denial".[47][48][49]

Stance on LGBT rightsEdit

In June 2020, Duda said that he would not allow gay couples to marry or adopt children, while describing the LGBT movement as "a foreign ideology" and comparing it to indoctrination in the Soviet Union. He also pledged he would ban LGBT teaching in schools.[50][51][52][53] In response to Duda's comments, former Prime Minister of Belgium Elio Di Rupo publicly asked European Commission for official reaction.[54][55][56] Soon after his comments, Duda invited presidential candidate Robert Biedroń (who requested meeting the President)[57] and an LGBT activist, Bartosz Staszewski to the Presidential Palace,[58][59] though Robert Biedroń eventually did not take the invitation saying he won't until President Duda apologizes.[60] According to Staszewski, during their meeting Duda cited freedom of speech to defend his words about "LGBT ideology".[58]

On 4 July 2020, Duda proposed changing the constitution to ban LGBT couples from adopting children. On 6 July 2020, he signed a document with a presidential draft of the amendment to the Polish Constitution.[61][62][63]

Foreign policyEdit

 
Duda was the first foreign leader to travel to the White House since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.[64]

In May 2019, Duda visited Azerbaijan where he met with President Ilham Aliyev. He said that "gas and oil alike will flow... from Azerbaijan also to Poland. They will flow via Azerbaijan where the transportation corridors that are currently under construction constitute and will constitute the elements" of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.[65]

U.S. President Donald Trump praised Duda, saying: "He's doing a terrific job."[66][67] In September 2019, Trump and Duda agreed to send 1,000 U.S. troops to Poland.[68]

On 24 June 2020, Trump said at a press conference with Duda that the United States plans to move some U.S. troops from Germany to Poland.[69][70] Trump said that "Poland is one of the few countries that are fulfilling their obligations under NATO — in particular, their monetary obligations — and they asked us if we would send some additional troops. They're going to pay for that."[71]

In October 2020, Duda expressed deep concern over the escalation of hostilities between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh and called on both sides to "cease military operations and engage in dialogue".[72]

Personal lifeEdit

Duda is married to Agata Kornhauser-Duda, a teacher of German at Jan III Sobieski High School in Kraków.[73] Still being high school students, they had met at a party.[7] The couple have been married since 21 December 1994.[74] They have one daughter, Kinga, who was born in 1995.[75] Duda's father-in-law is Julian Kornhauser, a well-known writer, translator and literary critic.[76]

Duda is a keen skier, he participated in the Polish Academic Championships in the Alpine skiing when being a university student.[7]

Duda is a Catholic. He took part in religious ceremonies on many occasions, including Midnight Mass, the blessing of food on Holy Saturday, or the Corpus Christi procession in Kraków.[77][78][79]

HonoursEdit

National HonoursEdit

Foreign HonoursEdit

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Bronisław Komorowski
President of Poland
2015–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jarosław Kaczyński
Law and Justice nominee for
President of Poland

2015 and 2020
Most recent
Order of precedence
First Order of precedence of Poland
as President
Succeeded by
Elżbieta Witek
as Marshal of the Sejm