Why Poland Has Three Presidents Today

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The Presidency of Poland According to FOX News, the fair-and-balanced (and, as it turns out, accurate) source of Polish-presidential-succession information, Poland had three different presidents today (July 8), depending on what time it was.

When he woke up this morning, Bronislaw Komorowski was the president, as he has been since the death of Lech Kaczynski in April.  Komorowski was the leader (or Marshal) of the lower house of Poland's parliament, and so became the acting president when Kaczynski died, just as the Speaker of the U.S. House would become president if the President and VP both kicked the bucket.  As it turns out, Komorowski also won the runoff election Sunday and so will become the new president.  But not until next month.

Later this morning, Komorowski resigned to start the transition process.  With no president and no marshal, the head of the upper house of parliament, Bogdan Borusewicz, then automatically became the acting president.

This afternoon, though, the lower house elected a new marshal, Grzegorz Schetyna, who then automatically became the acting president because he has priority under the rules of succession.  He will serve until the guy who was actually elected president is sworn in, which will not happen for several weeks.

So, just to recap, Poland had three presidents today, and will have had four or five this year (depending on how you count), and for those of you who want to memorize the order it went Kaczynski, Komorovski, Borusewicz, Schetyna, Komorovski.  I will award extra credit for first names, or any proper spelling whatsoever.

The reader comments to the FOX News story are possibly more entertaining than the story itself, as almost all of them turned this Polish legal issue into a wholly irrelevant dig at the Obama Administration, and one (somehow) managed to turn it into a gripe about immigration policy.  As far as I know, none of these Poles are planning to sneak into America, but I guess at this point we can't rule it out.

Link: FOX News
Link: Bloomberg