Waldemar Pawlak

gen. bryg.Waldemar Pawlak [valˈdɛmar ˈpavlak] (About this soundlisten) (born 5 September 1959) is a Polish politician. He twice served as Prime Minister of Poland, briefly in 1992 and again from 1993 to 1995. From November 2007 to November 2012 he served as Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Economy. Pawlak is the only person who held the office of Prime Minister twice during the Third Republic (i.e. since 1989), and he remains Poland's youngest Prime Minister to date.


Waldemar Pawlak
Waldemar Pawlak candidate 2010 D crop.jpg
4th & 6th Prime Minister of Poland
In office
26 October 1993 – 6 March 1995
PresidentLech Wałęsa
Deputy Aleksander Łuczak
Marek Borowski
Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz
Preceded byHanna Suchocka
Succeeded byJózef Oleksy
In office
5 June 1992 – 10 July 1992
Caretaker
PresidentLech Wałęsa
Preceded byJan Olszewski
Succeeded byHanna Suchocka
Deputy Prime Minister of Poland
In office
16 November 2007 – 27 November 2012
PresidentLech Kaczyński
Bronisław Komorowski (Acting)
Bogdan Borusewicz (Acting)
Grzegorz Schetyna (Acting)
Bronisław Komorowski
Prime MinisterDonald Tusk
Preceded byZyta Gilowska
Przemysław Gosiewski
Succeeded byJanusz Piechociński
Minister of Economy
In office
16 November 2007 – 27 November 2012
PresidentLech Kaczyński
Bronisław Komorowski (Acting)
Bogdan Borusewicz (Acting)
Grzegorz Schetyna (Acting)
Bronisław Komorowski
Prime MinisterDonald Tusk
DeputyAdam Szejnfeld
Preceded byPiotr Woźniak
Succeeded byJanusz Piechociński
Leader of the Polish People's Party (PSL)
In office
29 January 2005 – 17 November 2012
Preceded byJanusz Wojciechowski
Succeeded byJanusz Piechociński
In office
29 June 1991 – 11 October 1997
Preceded byRoman Bartoszcze
Succeeded byJarosław Kalinowski
Member of the Sejm
In office
18 June 1989 – 11 November 2015
Constituency16 – Płock
Personal details
Born (1959-09-05) 5 September 1959 (age 61)
Radom, Poland
Political partyPolish People's Party
Spouse(s)Elżbieta Pawlak
ProfessionMechanician, farmer, teacher
AwardsOrder for Merits to Lithuania Order of Saint-Charles Royal Norwegian Order of Merit Order of Merit (Portugal)
Deputy Prime Minister W. Pawlak at the World Economic Forum on Europe and Central Asia in Istanbul 2008

He is also a long-time commander of the Polish Volunteer fire department, holding the rank of Brigadier General. Since 2015 Pawlak is workstream leader for the AMU (Agency for the Modernisation of Ukraine), where he contributes his expertise in economy.[1]

Early life, education and early political careerEdit

Pawlak was born in the village of Model, Masovian Voivodeship on 5 September 1959.[2] He is a graduate of the Warsaw University of Technology. While he was a student and during martial law in 1981 he actively participated in strikes.

After graduation (1984) he became a computer teacher in Kamionka (near Pacyna). His political career began in 1985, when he joined the United People's Party. After 1990, like many UPP members, he joined the UPP's successor, the Polish People's Party. He was elected from UPP office to the Contract Sejm (1989) and has remained a member of Sejm since then. He became leader (Prezes) of the UPP in 1991.

Premiership of Waldemar PawlakEdit

First PremiershipEdit

On 5 June 1992, 00:00 AM, after a vote of no confidence was approved, with 273 in favour and 119 against, Jan Olszewski was forced to resign as Prime Minister and his cabinet was immediately replaced in an event known as the nightshift ("Nocna zmiana"). After Olszewski's dismissal, President Lech Wałęsa designated the little-known and inexperienced Pawlak as caretaker Prime Minister with the mission, to form a new coalition government with agrarians, Christian democrats and liberals. Pawlak's potential partners, the Democratic Union and the Confederation of Independent Poland were not ready to agree on a compromise programme. The fact was that Pawlak and nobody else was called upon to form a new government that was nevertheless a remarkable phenomenon. According to Aleksander Kwaśniewski, it was a 'historical step' towards a 'normalization' of Polish political and party life.

After 33 days as a caretaker, Pawlak failed to gain support from the Sejm majority and failed in a vote of confidence. Pawlak was forced to resign as Prime Minister and the President replaced him with Hanna Suchocka, who won support from the majority and successfully formed a coalition with the Democratic Union, Christian National Union, Liberal Democratic Congress, Peasants' Agreement, People's Christian Party, Party of Christian Democrats and Polish Beer-Lovers' Party. Pawlak's failure paved the way for another political coalition.

Since Pawlak's first cabinet did not receive support from the Sejm, at this time, Pawlak had no official ministers, only temporary chiefs of executive branches. His first cabinet was the briefest government during this period that lasted only 33 days, this was a notable period commonly known as Pawlak's 33 days (33 dni Pawlaka). Although Pawlak failed to form a government, he gained considerable respect from his 33 days in office. Pawlak was a counterweight to politicians who focused on the issue of lustration, and the backstage of these events was later described by Kult in the song "Mr. Waldek, Don't Be Afraid, or the Lefty June" ("Panie Waldku, Pan się nie boi, czyli Lewy czerwcowy"), which referred to the fall of Jan Olszewski's cabinet.

Second PremiershipEdit

The Polish People's Party and the social democratic, post-communist Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) won the 1993 election in a landslide, holding a super-majority and the support of the socialist-agrarian government, with Pawlak as Prime Minister again.

Józef Oleksy of the SLD became Sejm Marshal, while SLD leader Aleksander Kwaśniewski remained a Sejm Member without portfolio.

Prime Minister Pawlak and Kwaśniewski soon found themselves at bitter political odds. Kwaśniewski reportedly had an ambition to become "Prime Minister de facto", while Pawlak wanted to retain the power of his office. Both leaders used their parties to fight for power.[3]

Pawlak was initially in an informal alliance with President Wałęsa against the SLD. However, their good political relations soon dissipated.[3]

In 1995, Pawlak offered three options to Kwaśniewski. First, he would remain Prime Minister but with Kwaśniewski as Deputy and Minister of Foreign Affairs. Second, the Democratic Left Alliance would form a government with Kwaśniewski as Prime Minister. Third, Oleksy would become Prime Minister under the present coalition. Pawlak reportedly thought that Kwaśniewski would not risk a minority Democratic Left Alliance government without the support of the majority of the elevation of his main partisan opponent, Oleksy, to Prime Minister and therefore rather be the deputy of Pawlak. However, Kwaśniewski surprised many by choosing the third option.[3]

Among the Prime Ministers of the Third Polish Republic, Pawlak was distinguished by his reticent and aversion to journalists; the opposition and the media accused Pawlak of his lack of dynamism and terrible information policy. There was wide coverage among others, his words to the TVP journalist "hello away". Pawlak later explained to the press he just spoke kindly, and journalists made an affair of it. During his tenure as Prime Minister, he became famous for replacing his Volvo 780 limousine with an FSO Polonez Caro, equipped with a Rover V8 engine, to show his support and interest to the automotive industry in Poland. This gesture was well-received by Poles at a time when the country was in terrible poverty.

In the political wildernessEdit

Despite good public approval ratings Pawlak failed in his bid for the Presidency in 1995, finishing a distant fifth (after Kwaśniewski, Wałęsa, Jacek Kuroń and Jan Olszewski) and winning only 770,417 votes (4.31%).

After losing the political battle with Kwaśniewski and, after that, the presidential election, there was a movement to replace Pawlak with Jarosław Kalinowski as party leader in 1997.[4]

PSL suffered a great political disaster during the 1997 parliamentary elections and became the smallest party in the Sejm (from 132 seats in 1993 to just 27).

After the SLD won decisively in the 2001 parliamentary election Kalinowski became deputy of the new Prime Minister Leszek Miller when the PSL joined the coalition. Pawlak did not play a major role during this period.

ComebackEdit

Pawlak's comeback began in 2005 when he became PSL leader again.

In the liberal Civic Platform (PO)-PSL government, formed after the 2007 parliamentary election, Pawlak became Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy under Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

Although PSL remained the smallest party represented in the Sejm, Pawlak is often cited as having achieved a major political victory. During his time in the party chair his party enjoyed better electoral results, the elimination of major competition among agrarian voters from the also agrarian dominated party (Samoobrona), and the resumption of major influence in rural areas. Additionally, PSL was put in charge of three cabinet posts in the Tusk government. (Without the PSL votes, the PO would not have a Sejm majority, even though it easily accounts for the biggest political group in the sitting parliament.)[4]

On 21 April 2010, PSL announced that Pawlak would be the party's official candidate for the 2010 presidential election. He received only 1.75% of the vote and didn't get into the second round.

Personal lifeEdit

Pawlak is married and has children.[4]

Second Waldemar Pawlak cabinetEdit

Members of Pawlak's cabinet:

  • Prime Minister: Waldemar Pawlak (PSL)
  • Deputy PM and Minister of Finance: Marek Borowski (SLD)
  • Deputy PM and Minister of Justice: Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz (SLD)
  • Deputy PM and Minister of Education: Aleksander Łuczak (PSL)
  • Minister of Construction: Barbara Blida (SLD)
  • Minister of Culture: Kazimierz Dejmek (PSL)
  • Minister of Property Conversion: Wiesław Kaczmarek (SLD)
  • Minister of Defense: Piotr Kołodziejczyk
  • Minister of Transport: Bogusław Liberadzki (SLD)
  • Minister of Interior: Andrzej Milczanowski
  • Minister of Labor: Leszek Miller (SLD)
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs: Andrzej Olechowski
  • Director of the CUP (Central Planning Office): Mirosław Pietrewicz (PSL)
  • Minister of Economic Cooperation with Foreign Business: Lesław Podkański (PSL)
  • Minister of Industry and Trade: Marek Pol (UP)
  • Director of the URM (the Cabinet Office): Michał Strąk (PSL)
  • Minister of Agriculture: Andrzej Śmietanko (PSL)
  • Minister of Communications: Andrzej Zieliński (PSL)
  • Minister of Environment Preservation: Andrzej Żelichowski (SLD)
  • Minister of Health: Ryszard Żochowski (SLD)
  • President of the Committee for Scientific Research: Witold Karczewski

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ http://www.wallstreet-online.de/nachricht/7637922-amu-team-starts-programme-work
  2. ^ Matraszek, Marek (November 2011). "Composition of the new government after the 2011 parliamentary elections in the Republic of Poland" (PDF). CEC. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
  3. ^ a b c Agnieszka Chruścińska, Kwaśniewski jestem, 1995
  4. ^ a b c People of the Year, Polityka, 27 December 2007
Political offices
Preceded by
Jan Olszewski
Prime Minister of Poland
1992
Succeeded by
Hanna Suchocka
Preceded by
Hanna Suchocka
Prime Minister of Poland
1993–1995
Succeeded by
Józef Oleksy
Preceded by
Zyta Gilowska
Deputy Prime Minister of Poland
with Grzegorz Schetyna (2007–2009)

2007–2012
Succeeded by
Janusz Piechociński
Preceded by
Przemysław Gosiewski
Preceded by
Piotr Woźniak
Minister of Economy
2007–2012
Succeeded by
Janusz Piechociński
Party political offices
Preceded by
Roman Bartoszcze
Leader of the Polish People's Party
1991–1997
Succeeded by
Jarosław Kalinowski
Preceded by
Roman Bartoszcze
Polish People's Party nominee for
President of Poland

1995
Succeeded by
Jarosław Kalinowski
Preceded by
Janusz Wojciechowski
Leader of the Polish People's Party
2005–2012
Succeeded by
Janusz Piechociński
Preceded by
Jarosław Kalinowski
Polish People's Party nominee for
President of Poland

2010
Succeeded by
Adam Jarubas