After Poland regained independence in 1918, he became involved in Polish national politics, serving as Minister of Public Works (1920-21) and as Minister of Foreign Affairs (1922). He was widely recongized as one of the earlier Polish statesmen.
Supported by the "Liberation" party, Narutowicz decided to run for President of Poland. On December 9, 1922, he was elected by the Polish parliament (the Sejm), convening as the National Assembly of Poland, to be Poland's first president, and was sworn in on December 11.
His election, supported by leftist, centrist, peasant and national-minority deputies, aroused the ire of right-wing deputies, particularly the National Democrats. They emphasized that the deputies who had supported Narutowicz had included national-minorities representatives, and disparagingly called the newly-elected head of state "their president" or "President of the Jews". Narutowicz was also reproached for being an atheist and belonging to a Masonic lodge.
During his very short term in office he worked primary to appoint a new government, in place of Nowak's cabinet. However new cabinet was appointed by Acting President Maciej Rataj after Narutowicz death and before Wojciechowski's took the office. Also Naturowicz's first act in office was commuting of a death sentence.
While working on appointing a new government, he proposed portfolio of Foreign Affairs Minister to his main rival to the Presidency - Maurycy Klemens Zamoyski.
On December 16, 1922, five days after his inauguration, while attending the opening of an art exhibit at Warsaw's Zachęta Gallery, Narutowicz was shot dead by a mentally-deranged sympathizer of the National Democrats, the artist and art critic Eligiusz Niewiadomski, who was sentenced to death and a month later executed by firing squad.