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Friday, 6 August 2010

Address of the new President of the Republic of Poland

Respected Speakers, Honourable National Assembly,


Distinguished Guests,


Dear Compatriots,

 

It is difficult for me to hide my emotions when I stand at such moment in the place where one can feel the heart of Polish democracy beating. I have heard this pulse of Polish democracy; I have felt it for 19 years while working in Parliament. I would like to thank both Chambers for these 19 years of working together with many people that sit in this room today as well.


Ladies and Gentlemen,


Today it is a great honour for me to accept this strong commitment. Thus, I would like to thank those of you who share this significant moment with me and my family, both here in the Polish Sejm and at home. The swearing-in ceremony of the President is always a celebration of Polish statehood and Polish democracy. A celebration in which each and every Pole participates and should participate.


Therefore, I would like to thank the nearly nine million Poles who brought me to the President’s office. I would like to assure you that I will do my best not to disappoint your expectations and hopes. I also remember that almost eight million Polish citizens voted for my rival. I will try to perform my duties as president in such a manner to win their understanding and appreciation. I would also like to address those of my compatriots who did not participate in the elections, who did not vote. I wish to encourage those discouraged or indifferent to be more active citizens, because public affairs considerably affect the lives of all of us.


I am taking the highest office in the Republic of Poland after elections held in special circumstances, when Poland had to face a great national tragedy – the death of President Lech Kaczyński and his wife in the Smoleńsk plane crash together with many of Poland’s elite and distinguished representatives of Polish public and social life. This was our common tragedy, our common mourning which brought sorrow and severe pain to us. But it also showed all of us that our society, state, democracy, and constitution can rise to such a situation. We all did it. The democratic institutional order which we have built over the last 20 years of change in Poland managed to maintain continuity of power in this difficult time. We were able to pay due tribute to the victims of the crash. Now I would like to evoke our memories from 13th April when the Polish Sejm was the first Polish institution to honour the memory of all victims of the Smoleńsk crash in an exceptional manner, in particular Members of Parliament representing all political parties. The memory of those events, the memory of those who were killed in the plane crash near Smoleńsk is not only our duty, but also my duty as President of the Republic of Poland.

 

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