WARSAW, Poland – Poland's president and opposition leader can be legally referred to as ducks after a court ruled Monday that a play on the twin brothers' last name was not slanderous.
The court ruled on a complaint by President Lech Kaczynski's office against writer Jerzy Pilch, who repeatedly referred to the president and his brother Jaroslaw as "Kaczory" or "Ducks" when writing a column for the Dziennik daily newspaper.
The name Kaczynski derives from "kaczka," the word for "duck." The word doesn't carry negative connotations in Polish, but few political leaders would find it a compliment to be compared to the animal.
An unidentified citizen filed the complaint along with the president's office, saying that the moniker was slanderous. But Judge Alina Rychlinska ruled that comparing people to animals does not always mean an insult.
The Kaczynskis previously took a humorous approach to the duck nickname.
They made the duck a symbol of their right-wing Law and Justice party during a 2005 campaign that won Jaroslaw the prime minister's office and Lech the presidency.
Jaroslaw Kaczynski also fed ducks in front of the media in a Warsaw park in 2006. He has been in the opposition since losing a 2007 election.