Andrzej Duda is the incumbent President of Poland. Previously, he was a lawyer and a member of Sejm, lower house of the Polish Parliament, and the European Parliament.
Early Life and Education
Andrzej Duda was born on 16 May 1972 to father Jan Tadeusz and mother Janina Milewska. Both of his parents were teachers at the AGH University of Science and Technology. For early education, Duda went to Jan III Sobieski High School in Krakow.
After graduating from Sobieski High School, Duda joined the Jagiellonian University to study law. He did his MA and Ph.D. from the same university. After completing MA, Duda worked in Administrative Law Department of Jagiellonian University as an assistant.
Andrzej Duda is a married man with a daughter. He and his wife Agata Kornhauser married in 1994. A year later, the couple gave birth to Kinga; she is doing her undergraduate degree in law at the moment.
Andrzej Duda entered Polish politics slightly more than a decade ago in affiliation with the Freedom Union. By 2005, Duda had already rose to prominence and been an active member of Law and Justice Party. A year later, he served as an undersecretary at the Ministry of Justice. Then, in 2007, he joined Polish State Tribunal. Again, in 2008, Duda joined the Chancellery as an undersecretary. Later, in 2010, he ran for the Mayor of Krakow but saw a tragic defeat. However, the following year, he made his way into the Sejm by receiving almost 80,000 votes.
While an MP at the Sejm, Duda was often recognized as a very active, open and witty leader. Hence, in 2014, he got elected to the European Parliament. Subsequently, in 2015, he announced his candidacy for 2015 presidential election. He won 51.55% of the total votes against Bronislaw Komorowski to grab Polish presidency and assumed the office on 6 August 2015.
As President of Poland, Andrzej Duda boycotted the EU proposal of migrant quotas. Although Poland was originally requested to take around 3700 refugees, Polish PM settled at a number of 2000 refugees from war-torn Syria and Eritrea. This move of the Polish government has been widely criticized and has often been deemed as a discriminatory act.
Besides the EU immigration controversy, Duda was caught up in domestic controversy for granting presidential amnesty to four Central Anticorruption Bureau officers. Some lawyers believe such an amnesty to be unconstitutional. Likewise, Duda became a hot topic when he refused from swearing in Constitutional Tribunal Judges. In the same way, recently, in 2016, he disapproved appointment of 10 judges although the candidates were backed by the National Council.
- Poland: Order of the White Eagle
- Poland: Grand Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta
- Portugal: Order of Merit Grand Cross, 2008
- Belgium: Order of Leopold, 2015
- Bulgaria: Order of Stara Planina (Стара планина), 2016
- Czech Republic: Order of the White Lion, 2016
- Norway: Grand Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav, 2016
Trump and Duda
Polish President Andrzej Duda seems optimistic about the US-Poland ties under Trump administration. He wrote to President Donald Trump that ‘your leadership will open new opportunities of cooperation based on two-side obligations’. After a phone call between the two leaders, Duda said that his American counterpart urged him ‘to stay calm as cooperation between Poland and the U.S. will develop well, and that he as president will make sure of this. To me, this was a very good signal.’.