Wednesday 20 September 2017

Obituary: Intellectual who shaped Poland as first post-communist premier

Trail blazer: Former Polish prime minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki
Trail blazer: Former Polish prime minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki

Tadeusz Mazowiecki, who has died aged 86, was Poland's first post-communist prime minister. One of the country's leading Catholic intellectuals, he had a central role in restoring the democratic approach that was absent after World War Two.

In 1980, he advised the Solidarity trade union at the time of its foundation by workers disenchanted with communist rule.

Eventually, Solidarity agreed semi-democratic elections with the ruling pro-Soviet Polish United Workers' party, in which they and their allies were guaranteed a majority of the seats.

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