Krakowian, PiS MP Ryszard Legutko appointed new education minister

Poland’s new minister of education is from Krakow. Ryszard Legutko, a Law and Justice MP, was named to the position after President Lech Kaczynski on August 13 fired ministers from the ruling party’s two junior partners, ending the government coalition and bringing early parliamentary elections a step closer. Law and Justice (PiS), the right-wing governing party, had formed the majority coalition government with Self-Defense and the League of Polish Families (LPR) in May 2006. But the coalition lasted only 15 months, and new elections may take place on Oct. 21, two years ahead of schedule. Legutko, who had been vice speaker of the Senate, succeeds Roman Giertych, LPR chairman, as education minister. “Professor Legutko has a chance to repair some mistakes committed by his predecessor,” said Irena Dzierzgowska, the vice minister of education. “If Legutko would have more time than only two months until the elections, he could even reverse some of Giertych’s bad decisions,” Dzierzgowska said. Legutko was born on Dec. 24, 1949 in Krakow. He was graduated in English philology (linguistics) from Jagiellonian University in 1973 and in philosophy from Jagiellonian University in 1976. A full professor, Legutko lectures at Jagiellonian University and Tischner European University. A onetime democratic opposition activist, Legutko in the 1980s edited several periodicals including Arka, one of the leading Polish independent press publications. In 1992, he co-established and served as the chairman of Osrodek Mysli Politycznej, an independent non-governmental center for the study of political systems, international relations and classical political philosophy. Legutko, a widower with two children, has published many books in different languages. He is a translator and analyst of Plato’s works, a current affairs commentator and an essay writer. He also has lectured as a visiting professor at European and American universities.

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