President stresses importance of local government in interview with PAP

Andrzej Lange/PAP

Polish President Andrzej Duda, in an interview with PAP published on Wednesday, the 30th anniversary of Poland's first fully-free ballot after the fall of communism, the May 27 local elections, stressed the importance of local self-government for society.

President Duda recalled that nearly 52,000 councillors were elected in 1990, with the opposition trade union movement Solidarity winning 53 percent of the vote and local electoral committees - 24 percent.

"This completely changed the reality of thousands of Polish municipalities. After 40 years, local self-government was restored, ending the rule of local representatives of the communist government. It was a huge breakthrough in the legal and systemic sense, but also in the social and psychological sense. In the same year, Poles went in their millions to the general and free presidential elections, and a year later - to the first fully-free parliamentary elections," Duda said, adding that the May 27 vote was the first ballot in which he was able cast his vote.

The president praised the past 30 years in local government, saying Poles got actively involved in their local communities and made good use of EU funds after Poland joined the bloc in 2004.