Polish government structure Posted by Kasia on May 16, 2011 in Uncategorized
A lot of people ask me about Polish government and it’s structure. So today I decided to share some informations about it.
Poland has a Bicameral Parliament that is made of two chambers that are called the Sejm and Senat. The Sejm has 460 members and the Senat has 100.
Poland’s Constitution bestows on the Sejm the position of being the dominant power in the Polish Government. The 460 members serve for four years.
For a political party to have its members granted seats in the Parliament (Parlament), the party must pass a threshold (próg) vote of 5%.
Party members (członkowie partii) seated are chosen from a list of candidates (lista kandydatów) that is voted on by eligible voters by secret ballot (tajne głosowanie).
The Sejm oversees all executive functions of the Government (Rząd). It is the primary source of legislation.
The Senate is the weaker (słabszy) of the two chambers of Parliament. It 100 members are, like the Sejm’s members, chosen from a list of candidates that is voted on by eligible voters by secret ballot.
The Senate acts little more than as a checking function of the Sejm, It reviews legislation submitted to it from the Sejm. It can recommend changes to any legislation that must be approved (zatwierdzony) by the Sejm.
The executive powers of the State are in the hands of the President and the Council of Ministers (Rada Ministrów), which Council of Ministers is headed by the Prime Minister (Premier).
The Council of Ministers is generally referred to as the “Government”.
The government has the right to initiate legislation (prawo do inicjatywy ustawodawczej), to ensure the implementation of laws (zapewnić realizację prawa), and issue regulations (wydawanie rozporządzeń).
The Council of Ministers is answerable to the Sejm for its actions and ministers and the prime minister are answerable to the State Tribunal (Trybunał Stanu).
The President is the Head of State.
The president is elected by direct ballot and serves for five years. He is limited to serving two terms (dwie kadencje) in office.
Though he has some important powers, the office of the President was purposely left weak and most powers given to the Sejm.
Even in the area of foreign policy, the Prime Minister has the dominant position. But the Constitution lacks clarity and there is some blur that to date is not fully resolved.
The President can initiate legislation and can issue regulations and orders which may require agreement by the Prime Minister.
He acts as a check on the Parliament with his veto power that takes a 60% vote to override.
The President is the supreme commander of the armed forces.
The president is answerable only to the State Tribunal.
I hope I didn’t miss anything and that some of you will find this information useful and interesting.
Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)
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