Political Structure of Poland

Poland is an ancient country that came into existence in the middle of the 10th century. In the 18th century, Russia, Prussia, and Austria partitioned Poland among themselves (Poland 2). Throughout the twentieth century Poland's government was disrupted by military conflict and territorial change as well. At the start of WWII, Poland shared a border with six countries until Germany's invasion in 1939 partitioned the country between Germany and the Soviet Union under the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (Politics 4). During the war the country functioned through an underground state until 1945, when the Allied Powers met at Yalta and divided Europe. Poland lost nearly fifty percent of its pre-war territory to the Soviet Union and was "compensated" with West German lands, giving it new borders that it shared until the 1990s with only three nations: the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, and East Germany (Politics 4).

Poland became a parliamentary democracy in the 1990s, a "caretaker center-left" administration that remained in office until parliamentary elections on September 25, 2005 (Politics 4). These elections also replaced President Aleksander Kwasniewski, the head of state, a position with limited executive powers. Lech Kaczynski is Poland's new President, elected with 54% of the popular vote over Donald Tusk who garnered 46% (Poland 6). This analysis will provide a discussion of Poland's current government structure, including its p



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