Lech Kaczynski was a controversial figure of the world's political scene. His right-wing orientation pushed him at the top of the Polish electorate preferences and was elected president in 2005. During his mandate, Kaczynsky has firmly supported Poland's positions that were not favourable for the largest European powers. He also advocated for tighter relations with the US.
Kaczynsky was not afraid to criticize Russia, accusing repeatedly Moscow for using its energy policy to blackmail Europe.
Lech Kaczynsky was in very good relationship with Romanian President Traian Basescu. In March 2009, the two chiefs of state have signed a bi-lateral strategic partnership, during Basescu's visit to Poland marking 90 years of diplomatic relationships.
Catholic conservative Lech Kaczynsky started his parliamentary work in 1989, when he was elected Gdansk senator. Before making it to the political scene, he was involved in the attempts to rid the country of the communist regime in the 80s, in the Solidarity movement's actions.
He was designated Justice Minister in 2000 by the then PM Jerzy Buzek, presently the Speaker of the European parliament.
He won the presidential elections in 2005, running for the Law and Justice, a party which he founded alongside his twin brother Jaroslaw in 2002, a political organisation which stressed the traditional catholic values. His victory against liberal Donald Tusk was considered surprising at that time.
Later, Kaczynski designated his twin brother Poland's PM.
During the years in power, the two Euro sceptic brothers created many blockades at the EU level, going against the new Lisbon treaty and postponing the euro zone accession indefinitely. They also opposed the EU - Russia negotiations addressing an extended economic agreement.
Lech Kaczynski was 60, married and had a daughter.