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Andrzej Sebastian Duda (Polish pronunciation: [ˈandʐɛj ˈduda] (listen); born 16 May 1972) is a Polish politician who serves as the sixth and current President of Poland, holding the office since 6 August 2015. Before his tenure as President, Duda was a member of Polish Lower House (Sejm) from 2011 to 2014 and the European Parliament from 2014 to 2015.
|6th President of Poland|
|Assumed office |
6 August 2015
|Prime Minister||Ewa Kopacz|
|Preceded by||Bronisław Komorowski|
|Member of the European Parliament|
1 July 2014 – 25 May 2015
|Member of the Sejm|
8 November 2011 – 27 May 2014
Andrzej Sebastian Duda
16 May 1972
Kraków, Polish People's Republic
|Political party||Independent (2015–present)|
|Freedom Union (2000–2001)|
Law and Justice (2005–2015)
|Spouse(s)||Agata Kornhauser (m. 1994)|
|Alma mater||Jagiellonian University|
|Salary||~€68,000, annual |
Duda was the presidential candidate for the right wing Law and Justice party, during the 2015 presidential election in May 2015. In the first round of voting, Duda received 5,179,092 votes – 34.76% of valid votes. In the second round of voting, Duda received 51.55% of the vote, beating the incumbent president Bronisław Komorowski, who received 48.45% of the vote. On 26 May 2015, Duda resigned his party membership as the president-elect.
Duda was born 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.
Duda attended Jan III Sobieski High School, Kraków. He subsequently studied law at the Jagiellonian University. In October 2001 he was appointed as an assistant (holding M.A.) in the Administrative Law Department of Jagiellonian University. In January 2005, Duda also obtained a PhD degree in law 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.
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). 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. In 2010, he was an unsuccessful candidate to become the Mayor of Kraków as a PiS candidate, 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.
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. Duda remained a member of the Sejm until he was elected to the European Parliament in 2014.
2015 Presidential CampaignEdit
In the shade of the upcoming expiration of president Bronisław Komorowski's first term, 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 second round Duda took 51.55% of the vote against the 48.45% share of his rival, then-incumbent president Bronisław Komorowski. On 26 May 2015, he officially resigned from party membership.
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".
Eventually former 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).
Criticism and controversiesEdit
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", marking the first pardon granted by a president before reaching a final verdict. 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.
Andrzej Duda has refused to swear in any of the five Constitutional Tribunal judge candidates selected by the Sejm of the VII cadence. Three of those were selected since 7 November 2015 whose election was declared constitutional. On 3 and 9 December 2015 Duda swore in five other candidates for the same office selected by the Sejm of the VIII cadence.
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, the Public Prosecutor General and the Polish Ombudsman.
In June 2016, Duda rejected appointing 10 judges selected by the National Council of the Judiciary of Poland.
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. The veto was just one example of Duda opposing the policies of PiS.
In February 2018, Duda said that he would sign into law the "Holocaust bill", making it illegal to accuse 'the Polish nation' of complicity in the Holocaust and other Nazi atrocities, a measure that has roiled relations with Israel and the United States, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu going as far as accusing the Polish government of Holocaust denial.
Duda is married to Agata Kornhauser-Duda, a well-known writer, translator, literary critic, and a teacher of German language at Jan III Sobieski High School in Kraków. They had met at a party while still attending rival schools and have been married since 21 December 1994. Together they have one daughter, Kinga, born in 1995, who also graduated in law in 2019. His father-in-law is Julian Kornhauser, a well-known writer, translator and literary critic.
- Poland: Grand Cross of the Order of the White Eagle (ex officio)
- Poland: Grand Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (ex officio)
- Belgium: Gran Cordon of the Order of Leopold (2015)
- Bulgaria: I Class Order of Stara Planina (Стара планина) (14 April 2016)
- Czech Republic: Collar of the Order of the White Lion (15 March 2016)
- Finland: Grand Cross with Collar Order of the White Rose of Finland (2017)
- Greece: Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer (2017)
- Latvia: Commander Grand Cross with Chain of the Order of the Three Stars (2018)
- Lithuania: Grand Cross with Golden Chain of the Order of Vytautas the Great (21 February 2019)
- Norway: Grand Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav (23 May 2016)
- Portugal: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit Grand Cross (2008)
- Romania: Collar of the Order of the Star of Romania (10 July 2016)
- Slovakia: Grand Cross of the Order of the White Double Cross (2019)
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Andrzej Duda.|
- Official Biography of President Andrzej Duda
- The official website of the President of the Republic of Poland
- Polish Sejm
- Wprost (in Polish)
|Party political offices|
| Law and Justice nominee for President of Poland
| President of Poland
|Order of precedence|
|First|| Order of precedence of Poland
as Marshal of the Sejm