Poland marks first free vote anniversary

June 4, 2009 at 2:21 PM

WARSAW, Poland, June 4 (UPI) -- Poland's leaders, accompanied by foreign dignitaries, are marking the 20th anniversary of the country's free elections that led to the fall of communist rule.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk led a party of Polish officials who gathered in the southern town of Krakow. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and prime ministers of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Romania and Ukraine attended ceremonies in the Wawel Castle and the Wawel Cathedral, thenews.pl Web site said Thursday.

Also attending the services in the cathedral was former Polish President Lech Walesa, the former leader of the Solidarity union movement that helped topple the communist regime in 1989.

Ceremonies will be held later in the day in Gdansk, the northern city on the Baltic Sea coast where the Solidarity movement began its activities in 1980.

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