Kaczyński, Lech Aleksander

Kaczyński, Lech Aleksander yärôˈsläf [key], 1949–, Ph.D. Warsaw Univ., first gained public attention as child movie actors. Both were active in the prodemocracy movement of the 1970s, were members of Solidarity, and served as advisers to Lech Wałęsa. Lech Kaczyński served in the Polish senate (1989–91) and Sejm (lower house of parliament; 1991–93). Subsequently, he was head of the supreme auditing board (1992–95), justice minister (2000–2001), and mayor of Warsaw (2002–5). A founder (2001), with his brother, of the conservative Law and Justice party and its first chairman (2001–3), he was elected president of Poland in 2005, campaigning on a socially conservative platform. He was killed in a plane crash in Smolensk, Russia. Jarosław served (1991–93, 1997–2005) in the Sejm and was minister of state (1990–92) during Wałęsa's presidency. In 2003 he succeeded his brother as chairman of the Law and Justice party, and served as prime minister from 2006–7. After his brother's death, he was an unsuccessful candidate to succeed him. In the 2015 elections, though Beata Szydło publicly led the party's successful campaign, he remained party leader and was the power behind the new government; he also engineered Mateusz Morawiecki's replacement of Szydło as prime minister in 2017. In 2020, however, he entered the government as a deputy prime minister, overseeing the defense, justice, and interior ministries.

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