Polish MPs vote to demote communist-era army officers
PR dla Zagranicy
Poland’s MPs have voted through a bill that aims to strip top communist-era military officers of their ranks, some of them posthumously.
Photo: PAP/Marcin Obara
The bill sailed through the lower house of parliament on Tuesday after it was adopted by the conservative government in Warsaw less than a week earlier.
The house passed the legislation in a 264-159 vote with six abstentions.
Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak has said the bill was “symbolic” and that it would “restore normalcy and justice” in the country.
But the new regulations have been opposed by some soldiers’ and veterans’ organisations, which said the bill disrespected military ranks.
The legislation specifically aims to strip former communist strongman Wojciech Jaruzelski and ex-Interior Minister Czesław Kiszczak of their generals' stars.
Jaruzelski was Poland’s last communist-era president and was instrumental in imposing martial law in 1981. He died in 2014.
Kiszczak also played a key role in imposing martial law and suppressing the Solidarity pro-democracy movement in Poland. He died in 2015.
A parliamentary report compiled in the early 1990s said more than 90 people were killed during martial law, which was introduced in the country on December 13, 1981 and lasted formally until July 22, 1983.