Polish president vetoes plan to demote communist-era army officers
PR dla Zagranicy
Poland’s president has vetoed a bill that sought to strip top communist-era military officers of their ranks, some of them posthumously.
President Andrzej Duda announces his decision to veto the bill in Warsaw on Friday. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka
President Andrzej Duda said on Friday that the legislation was unfair because those demoted would not have been able to defend themselves.
The bill had reached the president’s desk after it sailed through parliament earlier this month.
After the conservative government in Warsaw adopted the plan in early March, officials described it as an act of historical justice in a former communist country.
But some soldiers and veterans organisations opposed the plan, saying the bill disrespected military ranks.
The legislation specifically aimed 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 on December 13, 1981 and officially ended on July 22, 1983.