Poland/Government

From Wikipedia

< Poland

HomePage | Recent changes | View source | Discuss this page | Page history | Log in |

Printable version | Disclaimers | Privacy policy

Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Poland
conventional short form: Poland
local long form: Rzeczpospolita Polska
local short form: Polska

Data code: PL

Government type: republic

Capital: Warsaw

Administrative divisions: 16 provinces (wojewodztwa, singular - wojewodztwo); Dolnoslaskie, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Lodzkie, Lubelskie, Lubuskie, Malopolskie, Mazowieckie, Opolskie, Podkarpackie, Podlaskie, Pomorskie, Slaskie, Swietokrzyskie, Warminsko-Mazurskie, Wielkopolskie, Zachodniopomorskie

Independence: 11 November 1918 (independent republic proclaimed)

National holiday: Constitution Day, 3 May (1791); Independence Day, November 11 (1918)

Constitution: 16 October 1997; adopted by the National Assembly on 2 April 1997; passed by national referendum 23 May 1997

Legal system: mixture of Continental (Napoleonic) civil law and holdover communist legal theory; changes being gradually introduced as part of broader democratization process; limited judicial review of legislative acts although under the new constitution, the Constitutional Tribunal ruling will become final as of October 1999; court decisions can be appealed to the European Court of Justice in Strasbourg

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Aleksander Kwasniewski (since 23 December 1995), currently partyless, former member of SLD
head of government: Prime Minister Leszek Miller
cabinet: Council of Ministers responsible to the prime minister and the Sejm; the prime minister proposes, the president appoints, and the Sejm approves the Council of Ministers
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election first round held 5 November 1995, second round held 19 November 1995 (next to be held NA November 2000); prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president and confirmed by the Sejm
election results (only one turn):

  • Aleksander Kwasniewski - 53.90 % (elected president)
  • Andrzej Olechowski - 17.30 %
  • Marian Krzaklewski - 15.57 %
  • Jarosław Kalinowski - 5.95 %
  • Andrzej Lepper - 3.05 %
  • Janusz Korwin-Mikke - 1.43 %
  • Lech Wałęsa - 1.01 %
  • Jan Łopuszański - 0.79 %
  • Dariusz Grabowski - 0.51 %
  • Piotr Ikonowicz - 0.22 %
  • Tadeusz Wilecki - 0.16 %
  • Bogdan Pawłowski - 0.10 %

Legislative branch: bicameral National Assembly or Zgromadzenie Narodowe consists of the Sejm (460 seats; members are elected under a complex system of proportional representation to serve four-year terms) and the Senate or Senat (100 seats; members are elected by a majority vote on a provincial basis to serve four-year terms)
elections: Sejm elections last held 21 September 1997 (next to be held by NA September 2001); Senate - last held 21 September 1997 (next to be held by NA September 2001)
election results: Sejm - percent of vote by party - RS-AWS 33.8%, SLD 27.1%, UW 13.4%, PSL 7.3%, ROP 5.6%, MNSO 0.4%, other 12.4%; seats by party - AWS 201, SLD 164, UW 60, PSL 27, ROP 6, MNSO 2; Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - AWS 51, SLD 28, UW 8, ROP 5, PSL 3, independents 5; note - seats by party in the Sejm as of January 2000: AWS 186, SLD 159, UW 60, PSL 26, PP 7, ROP 4, MNSO 2, KPN-O 5, PPS-RLP 3, other 8 (AWS doesn't exist any more and UW had splitted, so their members of parliament are in different parties, mostly PO, AWSP, PiS and UW)
note: two seats are assigned to ethnic minority parties

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, judges are appointed by the president on the recommendation of the National Council of the Judiciary for an indefinite period; Constitutional Tribunal, judges are chosen by the Sejm for nine-year terms

Political parties and leaders:

  • Liberal and conservative-liberal post-solidarity parties:
    • Citizen's Platform (Platforma Obywatelska - PO), Adrzej Olechowski, Maciej

Płażyński, Donald Tusk

    • Freedom Union (Unia Wolnosci - UW),Władysław Frasyniuk
    • Convervative Peasant Party (Stronnictwo Konserwatywno-Ludowe - SKL) (allied with PO), Jan Maria Rokita

Law and Justice Jarosław Kaczyński

  • Socialdemocratic parties:
    • Democratic Left Alliance (Sojusz Lewicy Demokratycznej - SLD), Leszek Miller
    • Labor Union (Unia Pracy - UP) (allied with SLD), Marek Pol)
  • Parties representing mainly interests of peasants
    • Polish Peasant Party (Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe)
    • Self-Defence (Samoobrona), Andrzej Lepper