Poland will make Europe more aware of its historic elections - speaker

Darek Delmanowicz/PAP

We will remind Europe that 30 years ago Poland was able to organise partly-free elections that soon led to the fall of communism, Senate Speaker Stanislaw Karczewski said at an academic conference in the Senate on Thursday.

On June 4, 1989 Poland held its first partly-free elections after the end of World War Two. They took place following an agreement reached during round table negotiations between the communist authorities, representatives of the opposition and the Church. Unlike elections to the Sejm (lower house), the elections to the Senate were fully free.

The conference which was devoted to the role of the Senate in the Polish political system. It was organised to mark the 30th anniversary of the June 4 ballot.

"We can be proud of it and we'll talk about it, we'll boast about it, we'll remind Europe that 30 years ago we managed to reach an agreement, we managed to organise (...) partly-free elections," the Senate speaker said.

Karczewski also said the Senate will hold a ceremonial session on June 4 in the Sejm's Column Hall, to be attended by President Andrzej Duda, PM Mateusz Morawiecki and Sejm Speaker Marek Kuchcinski.

The historic vote of June 1989 gave 161 mandates in the 460-member Sejm and 99 mandates in the 100-member Senate to the opposition Solidarity movement.

In the pre-election agreement, the ruling communists guaranteed 65 percent of seats in the lower house for themselves and their satellite partners.