On August 6, 2020, Polish President Andrzej Duda took the oath of office for a second five-year term.
In his inaugural address to the National Assembly, President Duda outlined the priorities for his second term. “It will be a term […] filled with what is important to me and my compatriots. The key issues are family, security, work, investment, and national dignity. These are the matters that symbolize Poland, which can combine tradition with modernity. This is the Poland of my dreams – ambitious, developing, innovative, but faithful to its roots, identity, and tradition.”
President Duda also drew attention to the high voter turnout in the recent presidential election, emphasizing that “democracy in Poland is stronger than ever.” Almost 65% of eligible voters cast ballots in the nation of 38 million. “Nearly 10.5 million people voted for me. It is a huge mandate that I accept with humility,” he said, pointing out that the votes he received constituted the largest number of votes in Poland’s elections in almost 30 years.
Usually full of parliamentarians and guests during a presidential inauguration, the parliament’s Plenary Chamber had some empty seats due to coronavirus precautions and silent protests against the President’s policies. Some members of the opposition parties wore face masks in rainbow colors in an apparent protest at Duda’s recent comments critical of the LGBT movement. The Left’s female legislators came to the inauguration in colorful dresses to form a rainbow as they sat in their seats.
His opponent, Rafał Trzaskowski, the Mayor of Warsaw, did not attend the ceremony.
President Duda called for unity and cooperation despite political differences. “My hand is extended to everyone, as a sign of respect and my willingness to cooperate, but the same willingness to cooperate has to come from the other side,” said President Duda.
The inauguration included other events, among them a Mass at Warsaw’s cathedral and a ceremony in which the President, as Poland’s commander-in-chief, resumed his authority over the Polish Armed Forces.