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Poland Government
 
 
 

General

Poland is a democracy, with a president as a head of state, whose current constitution dates from 1997. The president has the power to veto legislation passed by parliament, but otherwise has a mostly representative role. Executive power is exercised by the government, which consists of a council of ministers led by the prime minister. Its members are typically chosen from a majority coalition in the lower house (Sejm), although exceptions to this rule are not uncommon. The government is formally announced by the president, and must pass a motion of confidence in the Sejm within two weeks.

The Polish Parliament has two chambers; the lower house (Sejm) has 460 members, elected for a four year term by proportional representation in multi-seat constituencies using the d'Hondt method similar to that used in many parliamentary political systems, with a 5 % threshold (8% for coalitions, threshold waived for national minorities), and the Senate (Senat) has 100 members elected for a four year term in 40 multi-seat constituencies under a rare plurality bloc voting method where several candidates with the highest support are elected from each electorate. When sitting in joint session, members of the Sejm and Senate form the National Assembly, (Zgromadzenie Narodowe). The National Assembly is formed on three occasions; taking the oath of office by a new president, bringing an indictment against the President of the Republic to the Tribunal of State, and declaration of a President's permanent incapacity to exercise their duties due to the state of their health. Only the first kind has occurred to date. Since 1991 elections are supervised by the National Electoral Commission (Państwowa Komisja Wyborcza), whose administrative division is called the National Electoral Office (Krajowe Biuro Wyborcze).

The judicial branch plays an important role in decision-making. Its major institutions include the Supreme Court of the Republic of Poland (Sąd Najwyższy); the Supreme Administrative Court of the Republic of Poland (Naczelny Sąd Administracyjny); the Constitutional Tribunal of the Republic of Poland (Trybunał Konstytucyjny); and the State Tribunal of the Republic of Poland (Trybunał Stanu). On the approval of the Senat, the Sejm also appoints the ombudsman or the Commissioner for Civil Rights Protection (Rzecznik Praw Obywatelskich) for a five-year term. The ombudsman has the duty of guarding the observance and implementation of the rights and liberties of Polish citizens and residents, of the law and of principles of community life and social justice.

Overview

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

Government type :
republic

Capital :
name: Warsaw
geographic coordinates: 52 15 N, 21 00 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October


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