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List of heads of state of Poland

 

List of heads of state of Poland

This list concerns the Polish heads of state since World War I. For a list of historical monarchs of Poland from the Middle Ages to 1795 and 19th and early 20th century claimants to the Polish throne, see List of Polish monarchs.
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Poland

Contents

  • Kingdom of Poland (1916–1918) 1
  • Republic of Poland (1918–1939) 2
    • Chief of State 2.1
    • President of the Republic 2.2
  • Government of the Republic of Poland in Exile (1939–1990) 3
  • People's Republic of Poland (1944–1989) 4
    • President of the Presidium of the Popular Council 4.1
    • President of the Republic 4.2
    • Chairman of the Council of State 4.3
    • President of the Republic 4.4
    • First Secretaries of the Polish United Workers' Party 4.5
  • Republic of Poland (1989–present) 5
    • President of the Republic 5.1
  • See also 6
  • References 7

Kingdom of Poland (1916–1918)

Photo Body Took office Left office Notes
1 Provisional Council of State 5 November 1916 25 August 1917 Collective head of state:
Waclaw Niemojowski;
Józef Mikułowski-Pomorski.
2 Regency Council 15 October 1917 14 November 1918 Collective head of state:
Aleksander Kakowski;
Zdzisław Lubomirski;
Józef Ostrowski.

Republic of Poland (1918–1939)

Chief of State

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Took office Left office Political Party Notes
1 Józef Piłsudski
(1867–1935)
14 November 1918 11 December 1922 Independent Provisional Chief of State until 1918.

President of the Republic

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Took office Left office Political Party Notes
1 (1) Gabriel Narutowicz
(1865–1922)
11 December 1922 16 December 1922 Independent
supported by
Polish People's Party "Wyzwolenie"
Assassinated.
Maciej Rataj
(1884–1940)
Acting President
16 December 1922 22 December 1922 Polish People's Party "Piast" Marshal of the Sejm.
2 (2) Stanisław Wojciechowski
(1869–1953)
22 December 1922 14 May 1926 Polish People's Party "Piast" Deposed in the May Coup by Marshall Piłsudski.
Maciej Rataj
(1884–1940)
Acting President
14 May 1926 4 June 1926 Polish People's Party "Piast" Marshal of the Sejm.
3 (3) Ignacy Mościcki
(1867–1946)
4 June 1926 30 September 1939 Independent Mościcki's government was exiled to Romania after Poland's defeat in World War II after 17 September.

Government of the Republic of Poland in Exile (1939–1990)

After the German conquest of Poland, a Polish government-in-exile was formed under the protection of France and Britain. The President of the Republic and the government-in-exile were recognized by the United Kingdom and, later, by the United States until 6 July 1945, when the Western Allies accepted the Communist-led government backed by Stalin. Despite having lost recognition by other governments, the government-in-exile continued in London until the election of Lech Wałęsa as President of the Republic of Poland in December 1990 - when it handed over its formal powers and the insignia of the Polish Second Republic to President-elect Walesa in a ceremony at the Warsaw Royal Castle on 22 December 1990.

The sole internationally recognized President of the exiled government was Władysław Raczkiewicz, who took office after Ignacy Mościcki's resignation in September 1939.

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Took office Left office Political Party Notes
1 (4) Władysław Raczkiewicz
(1885–1947)
30 September 1939 6 June 1947 Independent Raczkiewicz's government lost recognition by the Western allies on 6 July 1945.
2 (5) August Zaleski
(1883–1972)
9 June 1947 8 April 1972 Independent From 1954 onwards, opposed by the Rada Trzech (Three-Man Council).
3 (6) Stanisław Ostrowski
(1892–1982)
9 April 1972 24 March 1979 Independent
4 (7) Edward Raczyński
(1891–1993)
8 April 1979 8 April 1986 Independent
5 (8) Kazimierz Sabbat
(1913–1989)
8 April 1986 19 July 1989 Independent
6 (9) Ryszard Kaczorowski
(1919–2010)
19 July 1989 22 December 1990 Independent Kaczorowski resigned on 22 December 1990, upon the election of Lech Wałęsa as President of the Republic of Poland.

People's Republic of Poland (1944–1989)

President of the Presidium of the Popular Council

The People's Republic of Poland was founded under Soviet protection on 31 December 1944 and recognized by the United States and the United Kingdom since 6 July 1945.
Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Took office Left office Political Party Notes
1 Bolesław Bierut
(1892–1956)
31 December 1944 5 February 1947 Polish United Workers' Party

President of the Republic

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Took office Left office Political Party Notes
1 Bolesław Bierut
(1892–1956)
5 February 1947 20 November 1952 Polish United Workers' Party From December 1948, also Secretary General of the Polish United Workers' Party.

Chairman of the Council of State

In 1952, the July Constitution abolished the office of president and made the Council of State the collective head of state, chairmen of which are listed below. Real power rested with the Polish United Workers' Party (PZPR), its Central Committee and its secretary general/first secretary.

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Took office Left office Political Party Notes
1 Aleksander Zawadzki
(1899–1964)
20 November 1952 7 August 1964 Polish United Workers' Party Died in office (cancer).
2 Edward Ochab
(1906–1989)
12 August 1964 10 April 1968 Polish United Workers' Party
3 Marian Spychalski
(1906–1980)
10 April 1968 23 December 1970 Polish United Workers' Party
4 Józef Cyrankiewicz
(1911–1989)
23 December 1970 28 March 1972 Polish United Workers' Party
5 Henryk Jabłoński
(1909–2003)
28 March 1972 6 November 1985 Polish United Workers' Party
6 Wojciech Jaruzelski
(1923–2014)
6 November 1985 19 July 1989 Polish United Workers' Party Also, the First Secretary of the Polish United Workers' Party.

President of the Republic

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Took office Left office Political Party Notes
1 Wojciech Jaruzelski
(1923–2014)
19 July 1989 31 December 1989 Polish United Workers' Party Following the Polish Round Table Agreement between Polish United Workers' Party and Solidarity, the Council of State was abolished. Its chairman was elected President of the People's Republic by the Parliament.

First Secretaries of the Polish United Workers' Party

From 1954 the head of the party was also the Chairman of the Central Committee:

No. Name
(Birth–Death)
Picture Took office Left office Notes
1 Bolesław Bierut
(1892–1956)
December 22, 1948 March 12, 1956 Secretary General
2 Edward Ochab
(1906–1989)
March 20, 1956 October 21, 1956 First Secretary
3 Władysław Gomułka
(1905–1982)
October 21, 1956 December 20, 1970 First Secretary
4 Edward Gierek
(1913–2001)
December 20, 1970 September 6, 1980 First Secretary
5 Stanisław Kania
(1927–)
September 6, 1980 October 18, 1981 First Secretary
6 Wojciech Jaruzelski
(1923–2014)
October 18, 1981 July 29, 1989 First Secretary
7 Mieczysław Rakowski
(1926–2008)
July 29, 1989 January 29, 1990 First Secretary

Republic of Poland (1989–present)

President of the Republic

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Took office Left office Political Party Notes
Previous office
1 Wojciech Jaruzelski
(1923–2014)
31 December 1989 22 December 1990 Polish United Workers' Party Chairman of the Council of State (1985–89) and President of the People's Republic (1989), when the state name was changed to Republic of Poland on 31 December 1989, the office was renamed accordingly.
2 Lech Wałęsa
(1943–)
22 December 1990 22 December 1995 Solidarity Elected 1990, the first President elected by popular vote.
3 Aleksander Kwaśniewski
(1954–)
23 December 1995 23 December 2005 Social Democracy Member of the Sejm (1991–95); elected 1995 and 2000, the first President of Third Republic elected twice.
4 Lech Kaczyński
(1949–2010)
23 December 2005 10 April 2010 Law and Justice Member of the Sejm (1991–93 and 2001–05); elected 2005. Died in an airplane crash, which also claimed the life of the last President of the Government-in-Exile, Ryszard Kaczorowski.
Bronisław Komorowski
(1952–)
Acting President
10 April 2010 8 July 2010 Civic Platform Marshal of the Sejm.
Bogdan Borusewicz
(1949–)
Acting President
8 July 2010 8 July 2010 Civic Platform Marshal of the Senate.
Grzegorz Schetyna
(1963–)
Acting President
8 July 2010 6 August 2010 Civic Platform Marshal of the Sejm.
5 Bronisław Komorowski
(1952–)
6 August 2010 6 August 2015 Civic Platform Member of the Sejm (1991–2010), Marshal of the Sejm (2007–10); acting (2010); elected 2010.
6 Andrzej Duda
(1972–)
6 August 2015 Incumbent Law and Justice Member of the Sejm (2011–14), Member of the European Parliament (2014–15); elected 2015.

See also

References

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