After World War II, the ruling communists retained some of the prewar laws and preserved the institution of President of the Republic of Poland. In 1952, however, the office was abolished and the country's name was changed.
The Council of State was, theoretically, a collective head of state; de facto, however, the most important personage was the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers' Party.
Chairman of the Council of State - Przewodniczący Rady Państwa:
In accordance with the current Constitution, the President of the Republic of Poland is the head of state, the supreme representative of Poland and the guarantor of the continuity of government.
The President has the opportunity to directly influence the legislative process by using his veto to stop a bill; however, his veto can be overruled by a 3/5 majority vote in the presence of at least half of the statutory number of members of Sejm (230).
The President is also the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces; he appoints the Chief of General Staff and the commanders of all the armed forces; in wartime he nominates the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and can order general mobilisation.
After Poland regained its independence in 1918, he became involved in national politics and served as minister of public works, 1920-1921, and as minister of foreign affairs in 1922.
On 9 December 1922, he was elected by the Polish parliament (convened as the National Assembly of Poland) to be the first president of Poland, and was sworn in on 11 December.
On 16 December1922, five days after his inauguration, while attending the opening of an art exhibition at the ZachÄ™ta Gallery in Warsaw, Narutowicz was shot dead (at the age of 57) by a National Democrat sympathizer: the anti-Semitic painter, art professor and critic, Eligiusz Niewiadomski, who was later executed for the murder.
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