Poland's Twin Leaders Gain Victory on Secrets

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As of this week, identical twin brothers are running the country of Poland. One, Lech Kaczinski, is the country's president. The other, Jaroslav Kaczinski, has now been sworn in as the prime minister. And many say their policies are dividing Poland.

For instance, Friday the country took a big step toward opening its secret police files, which date from Communist times. The lower house of Parliament voted to allow public access to files of people who hold positions of public trust —including politicians, diplomats and other public servants.

The files have long been a source of controversy in Poland. The vote was a big victory for the Kaczinski brothers.

Last fall, the Kaczinski twins promised they wouldn't take both top jobs, even if their party won presidential and parliamentary elections. So when Lech won Poland's presidency, his brother Jaroslav did not take the prime minister's job, even though their Law and Justice Party had won the parliamentary vote, as well.

But many observers say that Jaraslav was actually running the government behind the scenes. And after the prime minister was ousted late one recent Friday evening, Jaroslaw formally started the job this week.

As children, the Kaczinski brothers were inseparable — at one point they even starred in a movie. And in a bit of film dialogue circulating in emails among Poland's political class, the twins are heard discussing ways to cheat in a race.

No one is accusing them of cheating to win the presidency and the prime minister's job. But their joint government is being closely watched by many people both inside and outside the country.



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