Bronisław Maria Komorowski [brɔˈɲiswaf kɔmɔˈrɔfskʲi] ( listen) (born 4 June 1952) is a Polish politician and historian and current President of Poland. As Marshal of the Sejm (Speaker of Parliament), Komorowski exercised powers and duties of head of state following the death of President Lech Kaczyński in a plane crash on 10 April 2010. Komorowski was the governing Civic Platform party's candidate in the resulting 2010 presidential election, which he won in the second round of voting on 4 July 2010. He was sworn in as full-time President on 6 August 2010. Komorowski is thus the second person to serve on two occasions as the Polish head of state since 1918 after Maciej Rataj. Rataj, however, was twice Acting President, while Komorowski first acted as President, and then became elected President.
Komorowski was the Minister of Defence from 2000 to 2001.
Early life and education
Bronisław Maria Komorowski was born in Oborniki Śląskie. Komorowski is the son of Count Zygmunt Leon Komorowski (1925–1992) and Jadwiga Komorowska (née Szalkowska) (1921–).
The Komorowski family, which held the Korczak coat of arms, owned land in the Żywiec region of southern Poland, as well as properties in northern Lithuania in Aukštaitija, the ancestral home of Bronisław Komorowski's paternal branch. Its residence was in Kavoliškis manor (Rokiškis district). The family received the title of count from Matthias Corvinus, a 15th century King of Hungary. The title was later confirmed by the Austrian emperor.
From 1957 to 1959 he lived in Józefów near Otwock. From 1959 to 1966 he also attended elementary school in Pruszków. In 1966 he transferred to Warsaw and graduated from Cyprian Kamil Norwid High School no. 24. For many years he was affiliated with the Scout Movement. He belonged to the 75th Mazovian Scout Team in Pruszków. During his studies he was a Scout instructor in 208 WDHiZ "Parasol" Battalion in Mokotów. He met his future wife through Scouting.
In 1977 he finished his studies in history at the University of Warsaw. From 1977 to 1980 he was an editor at the journal Słowo Powszechne.
In the People's Republic of Poland Komorowski took part in the democratic movement as an underground publisher and co-operated with Antoni Macierewicz on the monthly Głos. In 1980 he was sentenced along with activists of the Movement for Defense of Human and Civic Rights to one month in prison for organizing a demonstration on 11 November 1979 (the judge who presided the trial was Andrzej Kryże). From 1980 to 1981 he worked in the Centre of Social Investigation of NSZZ "Solidarity". On 27 September 1981, he was one of the signatories of the founding declaration of the Clubs in the Service of Independence. He was interned while Poland was under martial law. From 1981 to 1989 he taught at the Lower Seminary in Niepokalanów.
From 1989 to 1990 he was the manager minister Aleksander Hall's office, and from 1990 to 1993, the civil vice minister of national defence in the governments of Tadeusz Mazowiecki, Jan Krzysztof Bielecki and Hanna Suchocka. In the early 1990s he was involved with the Democratic Union and Freedom Union. From 1993 to 1995 he was the general secretary of these parties.
As the candidate of the Democratic Union he was elected to parliament in 1991 and 1993. In 1997, during the 2nd Sejm, together with a group of Warsaw University activists under the management of Jan Rokita he created Koło Konserwatywno-Ludowe. In the same year Koło Konserwatywno-Ludowe joined the newly created Conservative People's Party (SKL), which joined Solidarity Electoral Action (AWS). In 1997 Komorowski was elected as a candidate of AWS. From 1997 to 2000 he presided over the Parliamentary National Defence Committee,
and from 2000 to 2001 served as the minister of national defence in the government of Jerzy Buzek. In 2001, while still a minister in the minority AWS government, Komorowski, along with some activists from SKL, became a member of Civic Platform (PO). He stood for election to the 4th Sejm as a candidate of PO. Again he was elected, this time for the Warsaw constituency. After the inauguration of the new parliament he resigned from SKL. Since 2001 he has been a member of the National Civic Platform Board. In the 4th Sejm he was the deputy chairman of the Parliamentary National Defence Committee and a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs.
He won election to the 5th Sejm in a district outside Warsaw. On 26 October 2005, he was elected Vice Speaker of the Sejm. 398 MPs voted in favour of his candidacy. His party had earlier recommended him as a candidate for Speaker. His candidacy, in defiance of precedent, was rejected by Law and Justice (PiS) which voted for Marek Jurek. This created an unfavourable climate further discussions regarding a PO-PiS coalition.
After the resignation of Marek Jurek as Speaker of the Sejm on 25 April 2007 Civic Platform announced Komorowski's candidacy for Speaker. On 27 April 2007 the Sejm rejected his nomination, and Ludwik Dorn from PiS became a new marshal. 189 MPs voted for Komorowski. Komorowski became Vice Speaker.
Komorowski took first place on the PO list for the Warsaw constituency in the 2007 parliamentary election and received 139,320 votes.
On 27 March 2010, he was chosen by PO members to be their candidate in 2010 presidential election.
Marshal of Lower House
On 5 November 2007, in the first session of the 4th Sejm of the Polish Republic Bronisław Komorowski was elected Speaker by 292 votes. He stood against Krzysztof Putra from PiS who received 160 votes. Stefan Niesiołowski, Krzysztof Putra, Jarosław Kalinowski, Jerzy Szmajdziński were elected Vice Speakers.
Acting President and President-elect
Komorowski became Acting President on 10 April 2010 following the death of President Lech Kaczyński. His first decision was to announce seven days of national mourning beginning on 10 April. According to the Constitution of Poland, Komorowski was required to set a date for the next presidential election within 14 days of assuming the position, the election date coming within 60 days of that announcement. On 21 April, his office announced that the election would be held on 20 June. In the election, he got 41.54% of votes in the first round and then faced Jarosław Kaczyński, who got 36.46% of votes in the first round.
In the runoff Komorowski was elected President (8 933 887 valid votes, 53,01%) and formally took office on 6 August 2010.
Following the death of the chief of the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland,
President Bronisław Komorowski during the speech in front of the National Assembly with Sejm Marshal Grzegorz Schetyna and Senate Marshal Bogdan Borusewicz behind him
Władysław Stasiak, Komorowski appointed Jacek Michałowski to succeed him on an acting basis. A high number of vacancies following the Smolensk crash necessitated numerous other appointments. On 12 April, he appointed retired General Stanisław Koziej head of the National Security Bureau in place of the late Aleksander Szczygło.
On 29 April 2010, Komorowski signed into law a parliamentary act that reformed the Institute of National Remembrance.
On 27 May 2010, Komorowski nominated Marek Belka, former Finance Minister and Prime Minister (2004–2005) of a then-leftist government, to be the President of the National Bank of Poland in place of the late Sławomir Skrzypek.
Following his election, Komorowski announced that he would resign from the Sejm on 8 July 2010, and thus cease to be Marshal and Acting President (his successor as Acting President was the next Marshal of the Sejm Grzegorz Schetyna, who held the position for about a month before Komorowski's formal inauguration). Komorowski currently resides and works in the Belweder Palace instead of the Presidential Palace.
Komorowski has been married to Anna Dembowska since 1977. He has five children: Zofia Aleksandra (born 1979), Tadeusz Jan (born 1981), Maria Anna (born 1983), Piotr Zygmunt (born 1986) and Elżbieta Jadwiga (born 1989).
He is a descendent of Polish nobility. He is distantly related to Princess Mathilde of Belgium, Duchess of Brabant, via her mother Anna Countess d'Udekem d'Acoz born Countess Komorowska.
Honours and awards
- Order of the White Eagle (ex officio)
- Grand Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (ex officio)
- Royal Order of the Seraphim (4 May 2011, Sweden)
- Collar of the Order of Prince Henry (19 April 2012, Portugal)
- Collar Grand Cross Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (10 June 2012, Italy)
- Grand Officer of the Order of Saint Charles (October 2012, Monaco)
- Grand Cross of the Order of the Legion of Honour (November 2012, France)
- Honorary doctorate from the Mykolas Romeris University in Vilnius, Lithuania (14 January 2008)
- "Parliament Head Komorowski Becomes Poland President after Kaczynski's Death". novinite.com. 10 April 2010. http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=115087. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
- Andrzej Hennel, "Drzewo genealogiczne Bronisława Komorowskiego. Kandydat herbu Korczak". (Genealogical Tree of Bronisław Komorowski. The candidate of the Korczak Coat-of-Arms.) Part two: "Kuzynka księżna z Belgii", Polityka Weekly, Warsaw, 15 June 2010.
- Andrzej Stankiewicz, Piotr Śmiłowicz, Zofia Wojtkowska, "Bronisław Komorowski. Człowiek, który płynie z prądem." (Bronisław Komorowski. A man's ability to go with the flow of life.) Part 1 of 4. Newsweek Polska, 19 March 2010.
- Mariusz Janicki, "Komorowski Bronisław. Kandydat." Polityka Weekly, Kraj; 28 March 2010. (Polish)
- Andrzej Hennel, "Drzewo genealogiczne Bronisława Komorowskiego. Kandydat herbu Korczak". Part one: Historie polskich rodów, Polityka Weekly, Warsaw, 15 June 2010.
- Bronisław Komorowski – Encyklopedia Solidarności
- "Biuro Prasowe Kancelarii Sejmu". Orka.sejm.gov.pl. http://orka.sejm.gov.pl/webBPKS.nsf/pub/EPIA-84DFZC. Retrieved 15 Apr. 2010.
- "Poland's snap presidential elections set for 20 June." BBC News, 21 April 2010
- "Nowy szef kancelarii Prezydenta". Tvn24. 22 March 2010. http://www.tvn24.pl/12690,1651793,0,1,nowy-szef-kancelarii-prezydenta,wiadomosc.html. Retrieved 15 April 2010.
- ła. "Pierwsze decyzje Komorowskiego: Gen. Koziej będzie szefem BBN-u". Wiadomosci Gazeta. http://wiadomosci.gazeta.pl/Wiadomosci/1,80269,7762298,Gen__Stanislaw_Koziej_nowym_szefem_BBN_u.html. Retrieved 15 April 2010.
- Poland's Komorowski approves shakeup of archive body. arabnews.com
- Komorowski: Marek Belka kandydatem na prezesa NBP. gazeta.pl
- Shortly Borusewicz, Schetyna later. To oni będą kolejno pełnić obowiązki prezydenta They will in turn serve as President of Poland
- Prinses Mathilde verre nicht van Poolse interimpresident.
- Bronislaw La princesse Mathilde, cousine éloignée de Bronislaw Komorowski.
- Sovereign Ordonnance n° 3989 of 17th October 2012 (French)
- Orders exchange between Polish and French Presidents (photo) – prezydent.pl
- Orders exchange between Polish and French Presidents (photo) – elysee.fr