Jan Swiech (Lemovcian: Ян Свієч, Jan Svijech, b. 2 March, 1958) is an activist, a former guerrilla fighter, a Lemovician politician, who served in the Lemovician Presidency from 1992 to 1996, and 2000 to 2004, and served as the third Premier, who currently is the only one to have come from the Socialists.
Born in Włocłamyśl, Jan Swiech was an excellent student in his childhood. After graduating from school in 1976, he attended the University of Sechia, where he was first introduced to politics. In 1979, he was expelled and charged with sedition for his political activities, but the outbreak of the Lemovician War of Independence prevented him from being prosecuted. In the aftermath of the war of independence, he, along with Izydor Domzalski, became supporters of the independence of the Miersan-majority regions of Lemovicia, as the National Syndicalists sought to persecute the Miersans residing in Lemovicia.
During the Lemovician Civil War, he was one of the commanders of the separatist forces, participating in several major battles during the war. In its aftermath, he was elected to the Presidency, serving one term from 1992 to 1996, and then a second from 2000 to 2004. In 2004, he entered the National Assembly, and in 2008, he became the youngest Premier of Lemovicia, serving until his defeat in 2016 by Sergiusz Galecki.
Jan Swiech was born in Vyuchamyshy (present-day Włocłamyśl, Zelaia) on 2 March, 1958 to Metody Swiech and Jolanta Swiech, as the eldest of two sons, with his younger brother, Józefa Swiech born in 1961.
Jan Swiech was an excellent student in school, and following his graduation in 1976, he moved to Sechia to further his studies at the University of Sechia. At the University of Sechia, he was introduced to left-wing politics, and soon became a critic of Vilem Gardos' rule over Narozalica. In October 1979, he was charged with sedition for his political activities against the Narozalic government, but because of the Sostava War and the subsequent Lemovician War of Independence, Swiech never was tried or imprisoned for his activities by the Narozalic government.
However, with the rise of the National Syndicalists to power, and the institution of the Lemovician constitution which disenfranchised ethnic Miersans, Swiech became sympathetic to the idea of Miersan separatism from the rest of Lemovicia, and began advocating for these ideas, alongside Izydor Domzalski, with Swiech being sympathetic to the creation of a social democratic state in Northern Lemovicia.
In March 1980, as the Lemovician state suppressed protests across the country demanding an end to the national syndicalist regime and the resignation of Saroi Garnica, Swiech became certain that the only way Miersans would ever be equal with the Lemovician "would be for the Miersans to gain their independence and to run their own state."
Thus, on 22 March, 1980, Izydor Domzalski and Swiech declared the establishment of the Miersan Republic of Lemovicia. Domzalski became the first leader, while Jan Swiech became one of Domzalski's generals. Swiech was quickly deployed to Loiola, where he was defeated in the first battle of Loiola. Despite this setback, Jan Swiech managed to retake Loiola in August 1982 from government forces, which helped boost his position.
In 1985, he helped orchestrate the opposition offensive in the second Battle of Bailara, while participating in the Siege of the Amabizca Pocket following the fall of Bailara, which helped temporarily secure control of the Amabizca Pocket for the separatist forces.
In 1988, Swiech helped lead the Miersan defence against government forces, helping the coalition secure a victory at the Battle of Otermin, although he suffered a shrapnel wound, which put him out of action until the following year. In 1991, he led the second battle of the Baitxi Pass, which ended in defeat for the separatist-opposition coalition.
The following year, with the end of the Lemovician Civil War, as the Miersan forces were disbanded, Swiech was discharged. He established the Socialists, and became a candidate to be on their presidential list for the Lemovician Presidency.
After Otxote Sasimabarrena completed his first tenure as Chairman of the Presidency in 1994, Jan Swiech became Chairman of the Presidency on 1 April, 1994. During his tenure as chairman of the Presidency, he built upon Sasiambarrena's efforts to build ties with the Euclean Community, and sought to advocate for the creation of a "safety net" for the poor and disadvantaged. On 1 April, 1995, he was succeeded by Gizon Artalolea as Chairman of the Presidency.
In 1996, while he was on the Socialist list, as they did not gain enough votes, Jan Swiech was not elected to the Lemovician President. During this period, Jan Swiech continued his involvement in the Socialist Party, helping build up its capacity to run for the 2000 presidential elections.
In 2000, Jan Swiech returned for a second term to the Presidency, after having run a vigorous campaign. He was sworn in alongside Igor Janusz, Hargin Saez, and Eolo Larretche. After the completion of Saez's first term as Chairman of the Presidency, Swiech assumed the role of Chairman of the Presidency for a second time on 1 April, 2002. During his second term as Chairman of the Presidency, Jan Swiech advocated for Lemovicia to join the Association of South Euclean States as a "stepping stone" towards future EC membership, and continued improving ties with its neighbours and the Euclean Community. On 1 April, 2003, he was succeeded as Chairman of the Presidency by Larretche.
In the 2004 elections, as he had reached the maximum term limit for being part of the Lemovician Presidency under the 1992 constitution, Jan Swiech was nominated to run for a seat to represent the constituency of Włocłamyśl alongside the other socialists.
During his election campaign, Swiech pledged that he would bring "tremendous prosperity" to the city of Włocłamyśl, and that a "Socialist government" would help give the constituent entities "the tools needed to be prosperous." This helped ensure his election to one of the seats representing Włocłamyśl.
Thus, on 1 April, 2004, he was sworn into the National Assembly. During his tenure as a legislator, his stature within the Socialist Party grew, especially after he was named parliamentary leader of the Socialist Party in 2005. With the economic crisis hitting Lemovicia hard, Swiech advocated for greater regulations and for the creation of a welfare state so that the crisis would not hit the poor as hard as they did. He advocated for a recovery which would "benefit the people" and not just the "richest of the rich."
By the 2008 elections, he polled ahead incumbent Premier Otxote Sasiambarrena, and Swiech waged an extensive campaign pledging to help the economy recover in a way that would benefit "all people in Lemovicia, not just the rich." His rhetoric helped secure his victory, and after negotiations with the Miersan People's Union, Lemovician Section of the Workers' International, and Aurrera, he was able to form a grand coalition.
On 1 April, 2008, Jan Swiech was sworn in as the third Premier of Lemovicia, succeeding Otxote Sasiambarrena, making him both the youngest Premier in Lemovician history, and the first Premier to not come from the Liberal Democrats in Lemovician history. After naming his cabinet, including Eolo Larretche as his Deputy, Jan Swiech began to focus on economic recovery.
During his first term, Jan Swiech instituted policies to help establish a welfare state. To this end, he instituted "tax-and-spend" policies to help fund these programmes, which also included greater investment in social development, as opposed to merely economic development. As well, Swiech sought to become a full member of the Euclean Community. By 2011, the Lemovician economy recovered to pre-2011 levels, and in the 2012 elections, the Socialists maintained power, although Aurrera left the coalition.
In his second term, Swiech maintained many of the policies that he instituted under his first term, and continued to build upon them: the minimum wage was increased to 5 denars per hour, from its initial rate of 2.25 denar an hour in 2013, its first increase since 1993, education spending reached a zenith in 2014. However, in his second term, Jan Swiech's popularity declined, particularly as many became critical of the high taxes, and of the "long wait" for Lemovicia to join the Euclean Community, with advocates in the Liberal Democrats demanding Lemovicia abandon their efforts to join the EC, and instead join Samorspi.
In 2016, he ran for a third term against Sergiusz Galecki. While he initially was somewhat more popular than Galecki, Galecki's campaign boosted his popularity at the expense of the Socialists, leading to a defeat of the Socialist coalition. Swiech also lost his own seat to Liberal Democrat (TBD).
After conceding defeat to Sergiusz Galecki, he declared his resignation from the leadership of the Socialists, although he remained a member of the party, and announced that he would retire from politics. On 1 April, 2016, he was succeeded as Premier by Galecki, and Swiech returned to his hometown of Włocłamyśl.
In 2018, he published his memoirs, How We Rose, detailing how he went from military commander during the Lemovician Civil War to being Premier of Lemovicia. His memoirs sold well in the Miersan Entity, but not so well in the Lemovician Entity.
Jan Swiech is married to Iwa Swiech, marrying her in 1993 when she was 21. Together, they have two children: Wirginia Kolodziejski, born in 1995, and Kazimierz Swiech, born in 1997. They have one grandson from Wirgina Kolodziejski, Zdzisław, born in 2019.
Jan Swiech is a social democrat. He supports democracy, saying that "giving everyone a say helps make a society well off," and is supportive of increased government regulation on the economy, as "if unchecked, those who make the money will cut corners to maximize the profit at the cost of human lives."
He is a strong supporter of Lemovicia joining the Euclean Community, as the Euclean Community "offered all of us hope that we can prosper under a democratic model," and felt that Samorspi would "impede democracy's growth" in Lemovicia.
Socially, Swiech is quite liberal, being a supporter of legalising abortion up until 20 weeks for any reason, and a supporter of same-sex marriage. He also is a supporter of environmentalism, and believes Lemovicia would benefit from renewable energy in the long term.
Jan Swiech was born and raised in the Episemialist faith, but during the Lemovician Civil War, Jan Swiech "lost his faith" due to the horrors of the war, and while he says he is "culturally Episemialist," he says that "the church plays little to no role in my day to day life."