Former Polish president Lech Wasa in hospital with heart trouble

Hero of Solidarity movement said to be unfortunately weak days after being booed by crowds at Trump speech in Warsaw

The former Polish president Lech Wasa, the leader of the Solidarity movement that helped overthrow communism, has been taken to hospital with heart problems.

His son, Jarosaw Wasa, said on Saturday his father was feeling unfortunately weak. The former president was being treated in the heart disease ward of the Gdask University clinic, in his home city.

On Thursday, the 73-year-old former Solidarity movement leader was booed by government-supporting crowds when he attended a speech by President Donald Trump in Warsaw.

Wasa
Lech Wasa leads a crowd at a shipyard in Gdask in 1983. Photograph: Jacques Langevin/AP

Polands administration is critical of Wasas role in the countrys politics. Wasa, a Nobel peace prize laureate, accuses the government of threatening democracy and hurting Polands ties with the EUs leading nations.

He had been expected on Monday to lead a demonstration against monthly observances that Law and Justice (PiS), the ruling populist party, holds in memory of the former president Lech Kaczyski and 95 others killed in a 2010 plane crash in Russia. Kaczyskis twin brother, Jarosaw, is the head of PiS and Polands most powerful politician.

Wasa says the monthly observances are used to rally support for the ruling party.

The protest planned for central Warsaw will proceed even if Wasa cannot attend, said another pro-democracy activist, Wadysaw Frasyniuk.

In 1980, Wasa led a massive strike against Polands communist government, giving rise to the Solidarity freedom movement. Solidarity peacefully ousted the communists from power in 1989, ushering in democracy.

But Kaczyski claims that the transition included a secret deal that allowed the communists to retain some influence and wealth.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/08/polish-president-lech-walesa-hospital-solidarity