Lech Walesa (born 29 September, 1943) is a retired East Prussian politician best known for serving as the Chancellor of East Prussia on two nonconsecutive occasions - the first for three months in 1991 leading up until the defeat of the Social Democrats in the general election, after which he became opposition leader, and from 1996-2003 as Chancellor, retiring shortly before his 70th birthday. A centrist, Walesa helped move the Social Democratic Party toward the center of the political spectrum, which alienated much of the party's left wing, and helped set the SPO up for an additional ten-year reign until their narrow defeat in the 2006 election. Walesa helped establish closer ties with both France and several NATO nations including England, Alaska and the United States during his reign, making his governance of East Prussia significantly independent of French influence. He oversaw the late 1990's East Prussian economic boom, and is often mentioned as an example of the centrist "Third Way."
Like all East Prussian leaders born between 1902-1944, he was born a French citizen but became eligible for East Prussian citizenship and thus the Chancellory after the peaceful secession of East Prussia from France. Walesa is, to date, the only ethnic Pole to serve as Chancellor of East Prussia.