President-elect Lech Walesa resigned Wednesday as chairman of the Solidarity trade union and recommended that his close associate, Bogdan Borusewicz, take over the job, but the offer was rejected.

"I submit my resignation because there is such a need," he told a meeting of the 100-member Solidarity National Commission.Walesa said he would not like to impose any candidate to take over his job because he did not want to be a "dictator." But he added, "I think it should be Bogdan Borusewicz."

He said Borusewicz, 41, a historian and union activist since 1978, helped him to be the union leader. The historian was one of the key leaders during the national workers' revolt that led to the formation of Poland's independent trade union movement.

"I have a moral duty to say who made Walesa," Walesa said. "(Borusewicz) is the man who shaped me and took vital decision in 1980."

Borusewicz rejected the offer.

Walesa was elected chairman of the union in 1981 during the first Solidarity Congress a few weeks before the imposition of martial law, which outlawed the independent union. He was re-elected at the 2nd Congress in June.

After the resignation, Walesa said that "there is no time for talking" and left for his presidential office.

Walesa's main office will be the Belweder palace in Warsaw where he is planning to work for a few days a week. His wife, Danuta, will not move to the capital with their eight children.