Kwaśniewski to end his term within 5 days

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Sunday, December 18, 2005 Aleksander Kwaśniewski, a post-communistic ex-leader of the Alliance of the Democratic Left (Sojusz Lewicy Demokratycznej), will end his term as the president of Poland within 5 days. His successor, conservative Lech Kaczyński, from the Peace and Justice Party (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość), is going to take the reins on December 23rd. This comes as the result of the October 9 elections and the October 23 run-offs, when he defeated liberal Donald Tusk by 54% to 46%.

Although Kwaśniewski has quite a good reputation in Polish society, he has often been called irresponsible and very static. That was said by some, especially from nationalistic and populist parties, such as Peace and Justice, and Self-Defense and League of Polish Families, candidates in the last elections (both parliamentery and presidential), who had been promising people a strengthening of the position of Polish president.

The last weeks of Kwaśniewski's second term were marked by the issuing of some pardons to people related to the post-communistic left.

Kwaśniewski, who took over the presidency after the election of 1995, and then was re-elected in 2000, is the successor to Solidarity movement leader Lech Wałęsa. He was unable to stand for re-election again as the Constitution of Poland states that the Polish president can only be re-elected once.