Poland is a democratic republic located in Central Europe. The country’s prime minister is formally referred to as the President of the Council of Ministers. Poland’s prime minister is the head of government and the leader of the cabinet. The Prime minister is appointed by the Polish President. The prime minister is also charged with proposing members of the cabinet. The office of the Prime minister is supported by the 1997 constitution. It is perceived that the prime minister holds more power than the President.
Prime Ministers of Poland
Tadeusz Mazowiecki was Poland’s first non-communist Prime minister in 45 years. Tadeusz Mazowiecki is credited with creating economic reforms that enabled the smooth transition from centralized shortage economy to a free market economy. His term lasted for 133 days only when Jan Krzysztof Bielecki was appointed prime minister by the newly elected President.
Hanna Suchocka was Poland’s first female Prime minister. She served as Prime Minister from July of 1992 until October of 1993. She was appointed by President Lech Wałęsa to the surprise of her male counterparts. Hanna Suchocka was a prominent lawyer and politician known for her efforts in reconciliation. At the time of her appointment, the government was based on various coalitions. Hanna Suchocka was appointed in an attempt to unite the divergent political views held at the time. She resigned from the position after losing a vote of confidence in Parliament.
Donald Tusk served as Poland’s prime minister from November of 2007 until September of 2014. He has been the longest serving Prime Minister in Poland since the end of communist rule. Donald Tusk was actively engaged in students’ politics and helped form the Solidarity Student Committee at the university. Tusk is popular for his strong support of capitalism and economic co-operations with European neighbors. He lost the 2005 presidential elections to Lech Kaczyński by a small margin. Tusk was appointed to the position of Prime minister in 2007 by Lech Kaczyński. Donald Tusk grew the Polish economy from $425 billion to $856 billion. He committed to creating solid foreign relations, especially with Russia and Germany.
Beata Szydło became the third woman to hold the position since the end of communist rule when she won power in 2015. Her political career began when she was elected mayor of Gmina Brzeszcze. She was later elected into the Sejm in 2005. In 2010, she was appointed the vice-chair of the Labor and Justice party. Beata Szydło successfully led the presidential campaign of President Andrzej Duda. Consequently, the president appointed her as Prime minister when he took office.
Evolution of the Office Over Time
Poland has had 15 Prime Ministers since the Communist Party fell from power there in 1989. Disagreements between the President and Prime minister have occurred in the past which led to amendment of the constitution in 1997. The reforms handed more authority to the Prime minister including the exclusive right to appoint and reshuffle ministers and the ability to call a vote of no confidence. Since the reforms, the roles of the President and Prime minister are clearly defined and therefore there is little conflict.