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Tuesday, 16 April 2013

President encourages Poles to celebrate June 4, 1989 elections

President Bronisław Komorowski

President Bronisław Komorowski encouraged Poles to celebrate the anniversary of the first partially free general elections held on June 4, 1989.


"On June 4, 1989 we have achieved one of the biggest victories in our history. Communism was rejected without bloodshed at polls, with the use of election cards. Together we have started to build a free, democratic and sovereign Poland. We have achieved a success as we managed to be united. United for Poland," President Komorowski stressed in a letter published on the website of the Presdiental Office on Tuesday.


Bronisław Komorowski called for common ceremonies marking "this huge success." He noted that June 4, "a day of freedom, day of all citizens, is an opportunity to congratulate each other and exchange words of thanks for the past years, for everyday work, for the effort for the good of the future."


"I encourage you to take part in common celebrations. Let us make this day a time of our common joy from achieved successes. Let us be proud of how well we were able to take advantage of freedom, of how much we have achieved in building a civic, democratic state and society," the president's letter reads in part.


The president also turned to non-governmental organisations and local authorities to organise special events marking the June 4 anniversary. "I also appeal to teachers and educators to hold school lessons on freedom. It is worth to discuss, together with students, about the historical date of June 4 and about civic and economic freedoms, freedom of expression and creation, the freedom of the Internet..."


"I appeal to all fellow citizens: on June 4, 1989 we gave ourselves a great gift - freedom. Let us take care of it, cultivate it, let us be proud of the achievements of our country. Let's meet on this important anniversary and raise a toast for our freedom. Let's be together on this day," wrote the president.


The June 4, 1989 elections in Poland took place in result of an agreement reached during round table debates between the communist authorities, representatives of the opposition and the Church.


The first round turnout was high - about 62 per cent. The election result was a success of the Solidarity movement. 60 percent of voters cast their votes for candidates forwarded by the Solidarity Civic Committee. Solidarity won 160 out of 161 available seats in the lower and 92 out of 100 seats in the upper chamber of Polish parliament.


Turnout in the second round, held on June 18, fell to about 25 percent, most likely due to the fact that candidates for the remaining 294 out of 295 parliamentary seats remaining vacant were representing the then government. (PAP)


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