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Polish Ex-Parliament Speaker Dies

November 22, 1998

WARSAW, Poland (AP) _ Mikolaj Kozakiewicz, a peasant party activist who became the speaker of Poland’s first post-communist parliament, died Sunday. He was 75.

Kozakiewicz died in a hospital after a six-month illness, PAP news agency reported. The cause of death was not disclosed.

Kozakiewicz was a prominent activist of the Peasant Party, a satellite of the Communist Party, and became a member of parliament in 1985. After the partly free elections in 1989 that opened a path to democracy, he became speaker of the Sejm, the more powerful parliament chamber. He was speaker until the 1991 elections.

Lech Walesa, a former president and leader of Solidarity _ the independent trade union that helped topple communism _ said Kozakiewicz was always willing to listen to others.

``That is why I have a positive opinion of him,″ Walesa said.

Kozakiewicz received a degree in sociology from Warsaw University and began teaching. In 1984, he became a professor. He was also a sexologist, promoting birth control in the predominantly Roman Catholic country.

Funeral plans were not immediately announced.

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