Poland marks anniversary of historic 1989 elections
PR dla Zagranicy
Top officials on Tuesday marked the 30th anniversary of Poland’s first partially-free elections after World War II, a landmark vote that heralded the collapse of communism after decades of totalitarian rule.
President Andrzej Duda (left) in the Polish parliament on Tuesday
Photo: PAP/Rafał Guz
Polish President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki delivered speeches in parliament, as did Marek Kuchciński, Speaker of the lower chamber.
The celebrations were scheduled to culminate in the evening with a concert by the Sinfonia Varsovia orchestra in Warsaw, with the head of state and all former presidents and prime ministers invited.
Among those expected at the concert were past and present senators and former democratic opposition activists.
On June 4, 1989, partially free elections were held to the lower house of Poland’s parliament, the Sejm, and completely free elections to the upper house, the Senate.
The Solidarity opposition movement scored a resounding victory, winning all the seats available to it in the Sejm, and all but one seat in the freely contested Senate.
The vote was a milestone that is seen as triggering a domino effect across the region, culminating in the Berlin Wall – a symbol of decades of division between Western Europe and the communist East – falling later that year.