Poland's March Toward Democracy
April 1988: Government price rises spark a two-week strike wave, the first major labor unrest since the imposition of martial law in 1981. August 1988: Communist leaders meet with Solidarity leader Lech Walesa. The communists agree to hold ``round-table'' talks with the outlawed trade union on condition that Mr. Walesa calls off a two-week-old strike wave. Preliminary talks founder over government plans to close the Gdansk Shipyard, the birthplace of the independent union. Sept. 19, 1988: Prime Minister Zbigniew Messner and his government step down. Feb. 6-April 5, 1989: Round-table talks between government and Solidarity are held aimed at pulling the country out of economic and political crisis. The government agrees to legalize Solidarity if the union pledges to support economic and political reform. April 17, 1989: Solidarity is relegalized. June 4 and 19, 1989: Poland holds first partially free elections in an East-bloc country. Solidarity wins 260 of the 261 seats it is permitted to contest. July 19, 1989: Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski is elected president by the narrowest possible margin.
July 25, 1989: Walesa meets President Jaruzelski and proposes creation of a Solidarity government. Aug. 2, 1989: Interior Minister Czeslaw Kiszczak is appointed prime minister, but fails to form a government as former coalition partners, the United Peasants' Party and the Democratic Party, refuse to support the communists. Aug. 18, 1989: President Jaruzelski appoints Solidarity adviser Tadeusz Mazowiecki to be prime minister.
Aug. 24, 1989: Mr. Mazowieki is elected prime minister.
Sept. 12, 1989: Mazowiecki government is confirmed.