Bogdan Borusewicz

Bogdan Michał Borusewicz (Polish pronunciation: [ˈbɔɡdan ˈmixaw bɔruˈsɛvit͡ʂ]; born 11 January 1949) was the Marshal in the Polish Senate from 20 October 2005 to 11 November 2015. Borusewicz was a democratic opposition activist under the Communist regime, a member of the Polish parliament (Sejm) for three terms and first Senate Marshal to serve two terms in this office. He was Acting President of Poland for a few hours in 2010.

Bogdan Borusewicz
Bogdan Borusewicz Kancelaria Senatu 2015.jpg
Official portrait, 2015
Deputy Marshal of the Senate
Assumed office
12 November 2015
Serving with See List
MarshalStanisław Karczewski
Tomasz Grodzki
Marshal of the Senate
In office
20 October 2005 – 11 November 2015
Preceded byLongin Pastusiak
Succeeded byStanisław Karczewski
Acting President of Poland
In office
8 July 2010 – 8 July 2010
Prime MinisterDonald Tusk
Preceded byBronisław Komorowski (Acting)
Succeeded byGrzegorz Schetyna (Acting)
Member of Sejm
In office
25 November 1991 – 18 October 2001
Member of the Senate
Assumed office
19 October 2005
Constituency24 - Gdańsk (2005-2011)
65 - Gdańsk (2011-)
Personal details
Bogdan Michał Borusewicz

(1949-01-11) 11 January 1949 (age 74)
Lidzbark Warmiński, Poland
Political partyIndependent (2005–present)
Civic Platform caucus (2007–present)
Other political
Democratic Union (1990–1994)
Freedom Union (1994–2005)
Law and Justice caucus (2005–2007)
SpouseAlina Pienkowska (Deceased)
Alma materJohn Paul II Catholic University of Lublin

Democratic opposition in communist PolandEdit

Borusewicz was born in Lidzbark Warmiński, Poland. When still a secondary school student of School of Fine Arts in Gdynia, he was arrested in May 1968 during the Polish 1968 political crisis on charges of printing and distributing opposition fliers.

In 1975, he graduated from the Catholic University of Lublin in the field of history. During the 1970s he took part in a campaign of support for striking workers in Radom, and became a part of the Workers' Defence Committee. In the years 1977–1978 he was a co-organiser of the Free Trade Unions of the Coast, "the cradle of Solidarity," established by Andrzej Gwiiazda, Krzysztof Wyszkowski and Antoni Sokolowski.

He was the point of contact for the opposition in Gdansk—a recruiting and networking role similar to Jacek Kuron in Warsaw—and a principal organiser of the August 1980 strike in the Gdańsk Shipyard which led to the formation of the Solidarity trade union, and a co-author of the strikers postulates. He took part in the formation of the Solidarity free trade union.

After the institution of martial law by the regime on 13 December 1981, he spent more than four years hiding from the authorities and organising the underground structures of the then-outlawed Solidarity trade union. In 1983, he secretly married fellow activist Alina Pienkowska, an underground event cited in Andrzej Wajda's Man of Iron starring Lech Walesa and Anna Walentynowicz.[1] The following year, disguised as a woman, he attended the baptism of their daughter Kinga.[2] Between 1984 and 1986, he was a member of the Provisional Solidarity Coordination Committee and then Provisional Solidarity Trade Union Council. He was arrested and imprisoned in 1986 and released under an amnesty in 1988. He supported the May and August strikes in the Gdańsk Shipyard in that year but, along with many Solidarity leaders, he initially opposed the round table compromise believing communism would crumble.[1]

In democratic PolandEdit

Deputy chairman of the Solidarity trade union movement 1990–1991. Was one of the candidates for its chairmanship in February 1991.

From 1991 to 2001 a member of parliament (Sejm). In the first term (1991–1993), the leader of the Solidarity party, and the chairman of the commission studying the consequences of the Martial Law period. He was opposed to the vote of no confidence for the Suchocka government (against the position of the Solidarity trade union), and after its fall left Solidarity. In the following elections he was elected as a member of the Democratic Union party, which in 1994 became the Freedom Union (UW). He was the chairman of the special forces parliamentary committee. During the third term (1997–2000) in the Jerzy Buzek government, he was the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration (in charge of the police force). He resigned when the UW left the government coalition in 2000. He was also a member of a variety of other parliamentary commissions.

He was not elected again in 2001 and from October 2001 he was a member of the board of management of Pomorze province. Next year Borusewicz was a candidate for the presidency of Gdańsk but lost the elections (obtaining 16.32% of votes). He did not join the Democratic Party (organised by UW members as a broader grouping), being opposed to the inclusion of politicians associated with the postcommunist Democratic Left Alliance party.

Senator and MarshalEdit

Marshal Bogdan Borusewicz with then-Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Marshal Bogdan Borusewicz with Albanian President Alfred Moisiu

He was chosen a senator in the 2005 parliamentary election, running as an independent but supported by both the Law and Justice (PiS) and Civic Platform (PO) parties. He was chosen as the Marshal (Speaker) of the Senate with their support. During first term he was caucused with PiS and after 2007 parliamentary election, with PO. After Parliamentary election in 2015 Civic Platform preceded to opposition and Borusewicz was made Deputy Marshal of the Senate.

Acting PresidentEdit

Following Acting President, and President-elect Bronisław Komorowski resignation from Sejm (and thus Marshal's office) on 8 July 2010, Borusewicz became Acting President of Poland until the election of the new Marshal of Sejm Grzegorz Schetyna. Borusewicz was the first Senate Marshal to become a temporary head of state and the shortest-serving Polish head of state since 1918. Also, he was already the second person to be or act as president since President Lech Kaczyński's death in April 2010.[3][4]

Called by the Polish media "The President for One Day", Borusewicz said, "at least I'll end up as a question in quizzes".


In 2009 Borusewicz received the Dr. Rainer Hildebrandt Human Rights Award endowed by Alexandra Hildebrandt.[citation needed] The award is given annually in recognition of extraordinary, non-violent commitment to human rights.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b Szporer, Michael (2014) [2012]. Solidarity: The Great Workers Strike of 1982. Lexington Books. ISBN 978-0-7391-7487-6.
  2. ^ Alina Pienkowska, a Force Behind Solidarity, Dies at 50 by Michael T. Kaufman, New York Times, 28 October 2002.
  3. ^ "Marszałek Borusewicz głową państwa. Do osiemnastej?". 8 July 2010.
  4. ^ "Schetyna nowym marszałkiem Sejmu. "Chcę być jak Płażyński"". 8 July 2010. Archived from the original on 11 July 2010. Retrieved 8 July 2010.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by Marshal of the Senate
Succeeded by
Preceded by Acting President of Poland
Succeeded by