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Presidential elections were held in
Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely temperate seaso ...
on 25 November 1990, with a second round on 9 December.
Dieter Nohlen Dieter Nohlen (born 6 November 1939 in Oberhausen) is a German academic and political scientist. He currently holds the position of Emeritus Professor of Political Science in the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences of the University of Heidelb ...
& Philip Stöver (2010) ''Elections in Europe: A data handbook'', p1491
They were the first direct presidential elections in the history of Poland, and the first free presidential elections since the May Coup of 1926. Before
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—forming two opposing milit ...
,
president President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) *President (education), a leader of a college or university *President (government title) President may also refer to: Automobiles * Nissan President, a 1966–2010 Japanese full- ...
s were elected by the
Sejm The Sejm (English: , ), officially known as the Sejm of the Republic of Poland (Polish: ''Sejm Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej''), is the lower house of the bicameral parliament of Poland. The Sejm has been the highest governing body of the Third Pol ...
. From 1952 to 1989—the bulk of the
Communist era A communist era is a sustained period of national government by a single party following the philosophy of Marxism–Leninism. Many countries have experienced such a period of Communist rule. Current communist states China The Communist Party of C ...
—the presidency did not exist as a separate institution, and most of its functions were fulfilled by the
State Council of Poland The Council of State of the Republic of Poland (''Rada Państwa'') was introduced by the Small Constitution of 1947 as an organ of executive power. The Council of State consisted of the President of the Republic of Poland as chairman, the Marshal ...
, whose chairman was considered the equivalent of a president. The leader of the
Solidarity Solidarity is an awareness of shared interests, objectives, standards, and sympathies creating a psychological sense of unity of groups or classes.''Merriam Webster'', http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/solidarity. It refers to the ties i ...
movement,
Lech Wałęsa Lech Wałęsa (; ; born 29 September 1943) is a Polish statesman, dissident, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who served as the first democratically elected president of Poland from 1990 to 1995. A shipyard electrician by trade, he became the ...
, won the first round. However, he did not earn over 50% of the vote, which led to a runoff election. Wałęsa faced Polish-Canadian businessman Stanisław Tymiński in the second round, defeating him easily.


Background

Wałęsa was an electrician and union leader with the image of an emotional, shirtsleeves populist. The first non-communist
prime minister#REDIRECT Prime minister#REDIRECT Prime minister {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
,
Tadeusz Mazowiecki Tadeusz Mazowiecki (; 18 April 1927 – 28 October 2013) was a Polish author, journalist, philanthropist and Christian-democratic politician, formerly one of the leaders of the Solidarity movement, and the first non-communist Polish prime ministe ...
, was very popular and widely considered a front-runner. He appeared as a more respectable and intellectual leader than Wałęsa. but also as more of a compromiser. However, in the first round, Mazowiecki finished in a distant third, with only 18.7 percent of the vote, well behind Tymiński. The reasons for Tymiński's unexpected success remain unclear. His vague promise to create wealth for everyone quickly, supported by his image as a patriotic Pole who had succeeded abroad, was well received at a time of radical political change and a worsening economic situation. There was increasing disappointment with the trench warfare that had broken out within the former anti-communist opposition so a mysterious, honest and patriotic stranger "straight out of nowhere" had considerable appeal. Another factor was that Tymiński's use of political-marketing methods unknown in Poland at the time. A key element of his campaign was an omnipresent black briefcase, allegedly containing "secret documents" which would destroy his rivals' careers when the time was right. Although the elections passed without the briefcase being opened, its presence attracted constant attention. Tymiński's adversaries adopted a similar strategy; the daily ''Gazeta Wyborcza'' (which supported Mazowiecki) reported that Tymiński had had contact with the secret police, a story that was not withdrawn until after the elections. Despite Tymiński's defeat, he had not only humiliated Mazowiecki (one of the best-known and most-respected figures in Polish politics), but also forced Wałęsa (who at that time was a national hero) into a runoff. After the election Tymiński tried to establish a new political party, but quickly disappeared from the political scene in Poland.


Candidates

File:Rbartoszcze.png, Member of the Sejm Roman Bartoszcze (
Polish People's Party The Polish People's Party ( pl, Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe), abbreviated to PSL (traditionally translated as Polish Peasants' Party), often shortened to ('the populars') is an agrarian Christian-democratic political party in Poland. It is a memb ...
), 43 File:Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz (senator).jpg, Member of the Sejm
Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz (, born 13 September 1950) is a Polish left-wing politician who served as Prime Minister of Poland for a year from 7 February 1996 to 31 October 1997, after being defeated in the Parliamentary elections by the Solidarity E ...
(
Social Democracy#REDIRECT Social democracy#REDIRECT Social democracy {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
), 40 File:(Tadeusz Mazowiecki) Rueda de prensa de Felipe González con el primer ministro de Polonia. Pool Moncloa. 26 de septiembre de 1990 (cropped).jpeg,
Prime Minister#REDIRECT Prime minister#REDIRECT Prime minister {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
Tadeusz Mazowiecki Tadeusz Mazowiecki (; 18 April 1927 – 28 October 2013) was a Polish author, journalist, philanthropist and Christian-democratic politician, formerly one of the leaders of the Solidarity movement, and the first non-communist Polish prime ministe ...
(Independent), 63 File:Moczulski Leszek 2009.jpg, Journalist
Leszek Moczulski Robert Leszek Moczulski (, born 7 June 1930) is a Polish historian and politician, a member of various organizations, first supporting then supposedly opposing the communist regime in the People's Republic of Poland while dividing the opposition mo ...

Leszek Moczulski
(
Confederation of Independent Poland Confederation of Independent Poland (KPN, pl, Konfederacja Polski Niepodległej ) was a Polish nationalist political party founded on 1 September 1979 by Leszek Moczulski and others declaring support for the pre-war traditions of Sanacja and Józef ...
), 60 File:Stanisław Tymiński (Święte Psy, 1990).jpg, Businessman Stanisław Tymiński (Independent), 42 File:Lech Wałęsa (1991) (cropped).JPG, Solidarity Leader
Lech Wałęsa Lech Wałęsa (; ; born 29 September 1943) is a Polish statesman, dissident, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who served as the first democratically elected president of Poland from 1990 to 1995. A shipyard electrician by trade, he became the ...
(Solidarity Citizens' Committee), 47


Results


References

*''Obwieszczenie PKW z dn. 26 XI 1990 r.'', Dziennik Ustaw. Nr 83, poz. 483 (Polish) *''Obwieszczenie PKW z dn. 10 XII 1990 r.'', Dz.U. Nr 85, poz. 499 (Polish) {{History of the Third Polish Republic 1990 Polish presidential election, Presidential elections in Poland 1990 elections in Europe, Poland 1990 elections in Poland History of Poland (1989–present) November 1990 events in Europe December 1990 events in Europe