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Legacy of communism hotly debated in Poland 30 years on

Updated : June 05, 2019 10:33 AM IST

Poland marked on Tuesday 30 years since its first postwar democratic election, an anniversary that has become a battleground over the legacy of communism between the liberal opposition and the ruling nationalists.

A cake replica of Poland's historic round table for the 30th anniversary of the country's first free elections held in 1989 prepared by
A cake replica of Poland's historic round table for the 30th anniversary of the country's first free elections held in 1989 prepared by "Sowa" bakery, is seen in Bydgoszcz, Poland. Poland marked on Tuesday 30 years since its first postwar democratic election, an anniversary that has become a battleground over the legacy of communism between the liberal opposition and the ruling Nationalists. Agencja Gazeta/Roman Bosiacki via REUTERS/Files
Poland's flag flutters near the European Union flag on the building of the Polish Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel. The partially free vote on June 4, 1989, handed victory to a government led by the Solidarity trade union and triggered a series of events culminating in the fall of the Berlin Wall that November. REUTERS/Corinna Kern/Files
Poland's flag flutters near the European Union flag on the building of the Polish Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel. The partially free vote on June 4, 1989, handed victory to a government led by the Solidarity trade union and triggered a series of events culminating in the fall of the Berlin Wall that November. REUTERS/Corinna Kern/Files
Former Polish presidents Bronislaw Komorowski and Aleksander Kwasniewski cut a cake, during celebrations marking the 30th anniversary of the first free democratic parliamentary election in Poland that marked the end of the communist rule, near the European Solidarity Centre in Gdansk, Poland. Even as opposition-controlled city authorities across Poland organised public festivities to celebrate that vote, the right-wing, eurosceptic Law and Justice (PiS) government held only a muted ceremony in parliament.  REUTERS/Kacper Pempel
Former Polish presidents Bronislaw Komorowski and Aleksander Kwasniewski cut a cake, during celebrations marking the 30th anniversary of the first free democratic parliamentary election in Poland that marked the end of the communist rule, near the European Solidarity Centre in Gdansk, Poland. Even as opposition-controlled city authorities across Poland organised public festivities to celebrate that vote, the right-wing, eurosceptic Law and Justice (PiS) government held only a muted ceremony in parliament.  REUTERS/Kacper Pempel
Aleksander Kwasniewski signs the declaration of freedom and solidarity next to former Polish president Lech Walesa and former Polish president Bronislaw Komorowski, during celebrations marking the 30th anniversary of the first free democratic parliamentary election in Poland that marked the end of the communist rule, near the European Solidarity Centre in Gdansk. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel
Aleksander Kwasniewski signs the declaration of freedom and solidarity next to former Polish president Lech Walesa and former Polish president Bronislaw Komorowski, during celebrations marking the 30th anniversary of the first free democratic parliamentary election in Poland that marked the end of the communist rule, near the European Solidarity Centre in Gdansk. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel
A woman attends the celebrations marking the 30th anniversary of the first free democratic parliamentary election in Poland, at the European Solidarity Centre in Gdansk. The biggest celebrations took place in the Baltic port of Gdansk, the cradle of the Solidarity trade union that toppled communist rule.  REUTERS/Kacper Pempel
A woman attends the celebrations marking the 30th anniversary of the first free democratic parliamentary election in Poland, at the European Solidarity Centre in Gdansk. The biggest celebrations took place in the Baltic port of Gdansk, the cradle of the Solidarity trade union that toppled communist rule.  REUTERS/Kacper Pempel
Magdalena Adamowicz, Jaroslaw Walesa, Former Polish President Lech Walesa and European Council President Donald Tusk attend the celebrations marking the 30th anniversary of the first free democratic parliamentary election in Poland.  While hailing the end of communist rule in 1989, PiS says liberal politicians then wasted the chance to create a fairer society true to its Christian roots and conservative values. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel
Magdalena Adamowicz, Jaroslaw Walesa, Former Polish President Lech Walesa and European Council President Donald Tusk attend the celebrations marking the 30th anniversary of the first free democratic parliamentary election in Poland.  While hailing the end of communist rule in 1989, PiS says liberal politicians then wasted the chance to create a fairer society true to its Christian roots and conservative values. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel
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