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Józef Oleksy [ˈjuzɛf ɔˈlɛksɨ] (About this soundlisten) (22 June 1946 – 9 January 2015) was a Polish left-wing politician, former chairman of the Democratic Left Alliance (Sojusz Lewicy Demokratycznej, SLD).

Józef Oleksy
Prime Minister of Poland
In office
7 March 1995 – 7 February 1996
PresidentLech Wałęsa,
Aleksander Kwaśniewski
DeputyRoman Jagieliński
Grzegorz Kołodko
Aleksander Łuczak
Preceded byWaldemar Pawlak
Succeeded byWłodzimierz Cimoszewicz
Marshal of the Sejm
2nd Marshal of the Sejm of The Third Republic of Poland
In office
14 October 1993 – 3 March 1995
PresidentLech Wałęsa
Prime MinisterHanna Suchocka
Waldemar Pawlak
Preceded byWiesław Chrzanowski
Succeeded byJózef Zych
Marshal of the Sejm
6th Marshal of the Sejm of The Third Republic of Poland
In office
21 August 2004 – 5 January 2005
PresidentAleksander Kwaśniewski
Prime MinisterMarek Belka
Preceded byMarek Borowski
Succeeded byWłodzimierz Cimoszewicz
Member of the Sejm
In office
4 June 1989 – 18 October 2005
Leader of Democratic Left Alliance
In office
18 December 2004 – 21 May 2005
Preceded byKrzysztof Janik
Succeeded byWojciech Olejniczak
Leader of Social Democracy
In office
23 December 1995 – 21 September 1997
Preceded byAleksander Kwaśniewski
Succeeded byWłodzimierz Cimoszewicz
Personal details
Born(1946-06-22)22 June 1946
Nowy Sącz, Poland
Died9 January 2015(2015-01-09) (aged 68)
Warsaw, Poland
Political partySocial Democracy of the Republic of Poland, Democratic Left Alliance
Spouse(s)Maria Oleksy
AwardsOrder of Polonia Restituta Order of Polonia Restituta Order of Polonia Restituta Cross of Merit (Poland) Medal of the 40th Anniversary of People's Poland Medal of Merit for National Defence KEN (Poland) Order for Merits to Lithuania Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany

Early life and educationEdit

In his youth he lived in Nowy Sacz, and was an altar boy at St. Margaret church. He graduated from Kazimierz Brodziński High School in Tarnów. Later on, he graduated from the Faculty of Foreign Trade of the Warsaw School of Planning and Statistics (Currently Warsaw School of Economics). He obtained a doctoral degree in economics. He was a dean and lecturer at the Faculty of International Relations at the Warsaw School of Economics and the Vistula University in Warsaw.


From 1968 to 1990 he was a member of the communist Polish United Workers' Party (PZPR). He was a member of the board of the main Socialist Union of Polish Students. He chaired the National Council of Young Scientists. He was the secretary of the PZPR University Committee at the Warsaw School of Planning and Statistics. In 1977 he went to work in party apparatus at the Department of Ideological and Educational Work of the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers' Party. From 1981 to the X Congress of the Party, he headed the office of the Central Committee of the Party. In 1987-1989 he was the First Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee in Biala Podlaska. In 1989, he served as Minister-Council member for cooperation with trade unions. In the same year he took part in the round table talks on the government side. Oleksy represented the Communist leadership in round table talks with the opposition Solidarity movement in early 1989.[1]

In 1990 he was one of the founders of the Social Democracy of the Republic of Poland, he was the chairman of this party from January 28, 1996 to December 6, 1997, and co-founded the Democratic Left Alliance in 1999. In the years 1989-2005, he was the member of the Sejm.

In the years 1993-1995 he was the Marshal of the Sejm. From March 7, 1995 to February 7, 1996, he served as Prime Minister of Poland. He resigned after being falsely accused by Interior Minister Andrzej Milczanowski for spying for Russia under the pseudonym "Olin".[2] These allegations have never been confirmed.[3]

In the years 2001-2005 he was a chairman of the European Union Committee in the Sejm which was responsible for aligning all Polish laws and regulations before Poland joined European Union in 2004. In 2004 he was a member of the European Parliament and the Convention on the Future of Europe, which was responsible to produce a draft constitution for the European Union for the European Council to finalise and adopt.

In early 2004 he took the office of the Minister of Internal Affairs. Between 21 April 2004 and 5 January 2005 he was the Marshal of the Sejm.

A record of a private conversation Jozef Oleksy had with one of Poland's richest businessmen Aleksander Gudzowaty "leaked" to the media on 22 March 2007. The tapes suggested corruption in the SLD party. Oleksy accused former president Aleksander Kwaśniewski of illegal financial procedures, and spoke very harshly of then SLD leader Wojciech Olejniczak and several other members of the party.[4] He soon left the SLD.[5] He re-joined the SLD on February 1, 2010 and on May 12, 2012 he became vice-president of this party.

Private lifeEdit

Jozef Oleksy was married to Maria Oleksy. He had two children.

Since 2005 he has been struggling with cancer. He died on January 9, 2015. Funeral ceremonies with representatives of the state authorities, including President Bronislaw Komorowski, Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz and Marshal of the Sejm Radoslaw Sikorski, took place on January 16, 2015 in the Field Cathedral of the Polish Army in Warsaw. Joseph Oleksy was buried at the Powązki Military Cemetery.[6]

Honours and awardsEdit

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Wiesław Chrzanowski
Sejm Marshal
Succeeded by
Józef Zych
Preceded by
Waldemar Pawlak
Prime Minister of Poland
Succeeded by
Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz
Preceded by
Marek Borowski
Sejm Marshal
Succeeded by
Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz