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Lech Walesa releases book

Just before snap elections, which were called by former Solidarity activists turned rivals, former President Lech Walesa has released a book in which he defends Poland's accomplishments since the 1989 fall of communism.

Walesa, who rose from the post of an electrician at the Lenin Shipyards in Gdansk to lead the Solidarity movement that toppled Poland's communist regime in 1989, said he felt compelled to write the book because of "the current political situation in Poland," according to a letter he posted to readers on his publisher's Web site.

The book, "My Third Republic," is the first from Nobel Prize laureate Walesa in 16 years, and was being released as Poland gears up for Oct. 21 snap general elections.

Parliament dissolved last month after Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski's socially conservative Law and Justice party pushed for new elections to try to end months of instability and feuding with two small coalition partners.

Kaczynski and his twin brother, President Lech Kaczynski, were once close associates of Walesa in the anti-communist Solidarity movement. But Walesa and the twins have been fierce foes since a falling-out in the early 1990s, when Walesa served as Poland's president.

"My Third Republic" is slated to hit bookstores in Poland on Oct. 4.