Lech Kaczyński monument to be built in Szczecin
PR dla Zagranicy
The city council in Szczecin, north-west Poland, has decided late president Lech Kaczyński will be commemorated with a monument in the city.
Lech Kaczyński und seine Ehefrau Maria.Photo: PAP/archiwum
The idea itself and how the decision was made have stirred controversy, with city council voting reportedly conducted without prior discussion. This at the request of the opposition Law and Justice (PiS) party of which the late president's twin brother Jarosław is the leader.
A council member from governing Civic Platform (PO) wrote on Facebook that it was an attempt at "gagging the council" and that the voting brought to mind "Belarussian standards of democracy."
Some Szczecin residents have also opposed the idea, with 7,000 users on Facebook and another 1,300 signing a petition against setting up the monument.
The memorial would be located in the Lech Kaczyński Square in the oldest part of Szczecin and financed from voluntary contributions.
Lech Kaczyński was president of Poland from 2005 until 2010 and Mayor of Warsaw from 2002 to 2005. He died in a plane crash at Smolensk in Russia along with other members of a Polish delegation in 2010.
Even after his death, Kaczyński remains a controversial figure and one that evokes a key defining cleavage within Polish society, manifest in notions of Polishness itself and also in the more prosaic political struggle between PO and PiS. (tf/jh/rk)