Minutes of a Meeting of the Presidium of Citizens' Parliamentary Club
In early June 1989, Poland held its first semi-free elections since the inception of Communist Party rule in the post-World War II era. Poles indicated strongly their anti-Communist and pro-Solidarity sentiments, as evidenced by the solid defeat of Communism in this election. A few weeks after this historic election, the new pro-Solidarity parliamentary leaders formed the Citizens' Parliamentary Club, led by Solidarity activist Bronisław Geremek. These minutes of a meeting held on August 16, 1989, point to the types of discussions that took place and tensions that evolved among this group of leaders, eventually leading to the development of two factions, one conservative and one liberal. As this document so clearly shows, the process of creating a new form of governing in a time of turmoil and uncertainty was ongoing and difficult.
Minutes of a Meeting of the Presidium of the Citizens’ Parliamentary Club
16 August 1989, 11:30 p.m.
Present: A. Balazs, G. Janowski, J. Slisz, J. Rokita, E. Wende, O. Krzyzanowska, A.
Stelmachowski, A. Celinski, J. Kuron, J. Ambroziak, T. Mazowiecki, B. Geremek, L.
Walesa, K. Kozlowski, A. Wielowieyski, H. Wujec, A. Michnik, J. Kaczynski, L.
B. Geremek: Today I received an invitation to have a conversation with Gen.
Jaruzelski. I responded that first I wanted to meet with Chairman Walesa, whom I had not
seen for a few days. There have been important meetings recently: a meeting of Primate
Glemp with [Soviet] Ambassador Vladimir Borovikov and the second meeting of Glemp
The time-table for the next few days [is:] today or tomorrow the Sejm is to vote
on a resolution on the  intervention in Czechoslovakia. It’s a controversial matter.
Tomorrow L. Walesa is meeting: at 9 a.m. with Malinowski at 10 a.m. with Jozwiak at 12
K. Kozlowski: The PUWP wants to do everything to eliminate Lech Walesa.
There will be a compromise candidate—Kwasniewski.
B. Geremek: Is it possible that they will appoint Walesa?
E. Wende: Orzechowski has very clear plans regarding two ministries.
A. Stelmachowski: With bargaining there will be more!
L. Walesa: Generally we are reporting that a new coalition has been set up. It will
select the most suitable candidate for prime minister. For the time being we don’t say
who that will be.
E. Wende: He is referring to information from the PUWP circles, we should not
exaggerate, there are warnings.
J. Kaczynski: The question of two ministries has been stated clearly in talks. With
the preservation of the president’s prerogatives, this needs to be stated once again. The
compromise has to be reached on their side.
A. Stelmachowski: The government here in Poland has never had the position of a
true government, the disposition centers have always been somewhere aside (Pilsudski—
the Chief Inspectorate). We need to return back to the main political decisions reached at
L. Walesa: We have learned that there is always someone above the authorities
and above the law.
A. Michnik: How do you perceive the position of the PUWP?
L. Walesa: We need to create a new coalition, which will stand up to the PUWP.
How to form a government to secure both freedom and be tolerant.
B. Geremek: The main thing is that the PUWP doesn’t form the government.
L. Walesa: ...... and doesn’t impose it!
A. Balazs: I have a suggestion that the “S” RI should not be treated by PUWP like
B. Geremek: Do you foresee a meeting with our Club after your meetings
L. Walesa: It’s not me who wants to be prime minister. I have my three
candidates. If this proposition doesn’t break down, I will be asking you to form the
B. Geremek: Does anyone have any comments?
A. Michnik: I think that if you listen to their argument, it means that you are
going into their paws. Krolewski and Malinowski were stubbornly sticking to this
coalition, which means they were doing it with Jaruzelski’s approval. We need to form a
government with the masters, not with the lackeys.
T. Mazowiecki: This would lead to a series of talks of the type of a new
Magdalenka with the masters, talks with the actual disposers of power, i.e. with the
military and the police.
A. Michnik: You are not going to make a real government with the ZSL and the
SD. The PUWP can be broken down.
B. Geremek: The present phase—with the assistance of the ZSL and SD—is an
attempt to break down PUWP’s monopoly.
[Source: Archives of the Bureau of Senate Information and Documentation; translated by
Jan Chowaniec for CWIHP.]
Citizens' Parliamentary Club, "Minutes of a Meeting of the Presidium of the Citizens' Parliamentary Club," August 1989, trans. Jan Chowaniec, Archives of the Bureau of Senate Information and Documentation, Cold War International History Project, Documents and Papers, CWIHP (accessed May 14, 2008).