The Mazowiecki Government

The Mazowiecki Government

Although Jaruzelski had won the presidency, Solidarity was not willing to concede the leadership of the new government to the PZPR. Jaruzelski's choice for the position of prime minister, General Czeslaw Kiszczak, had won respect for his flexibility as the primary government representative during the round table talks. Kiszczak received the necessary simple majority of Sejm seats by the narrowest of margins. But repeated failures to form a coalition government forced the PZPR to face the reality of its diminished power. After consulting with Moscow, Jaruzelski nominated Tadeusz Mazowiecki, a respected intellectual and longtime Solidarity adviser, to become the first noncommunist Polish prime minister since 1944.

The coalition government gave representation to all of the primary political forces extant in August 1989. To secure Mazowiecki's nomination, Solidarity leader Lech Walesa had assured Jaruzelski that the PZPR would continue to control the key ministries of national defense and internal affairs. While entrusting fourteen ministries to Solidarity, Mazowiecki allocated four ministries to the United Peasant Party and three to the Democratic Party. A tone of reconciliation characterized the new administration. Determined not to engage in an anticommunist witch hunt, Mazowiecki pursued an evolutionary program of democratic reform.

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