When Hungary’s prime minister had a secret five-hour meeting in a secluded mountain resort with the most powerful person in Poland, he didn’t convene with his counterpart or the Polish president.
Instead he spoke with Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of Poland’s ruling party, a man who has no official government position.
The mysterious meeting recently in a guest house on Poland’s southern border enhanced the perception that Kaczynski, rather than Prime Minister Beata Szydlo or President Andrzej Duda, is the main decision-maker in Poland today, and that, like Hungarian leader Viktor Orban, he might steer his nation down an anti-democratic path.
The 67-year-old Law and Justice party leader, whose identical twin brother Polish President Lech Kaczynski died in a 2010 plane crash in Russia, has been in the Polish public eye since childhood. He and Lech first won fame as child actors in the 1960s. During the 1980s, they embarked on their political careers by joining Nobel Peace Prize laureate Lech Walesa’s anti-communist Solidarity movement.
But observers say Jaroslaw Kaczynski changed dramatically after the death of his twin.