- Structure of Parliament
- Governing Bodies
- Powers of the Seimas
- Powers of the Senate
- How to choose
The history of the parliament in Poland has more than five hundred years, during which time the country disappeared from the map of the planet twice, when it was first part of the Russian Empire, and then the German Reich. And the time when the country was part of the socialist camp cannot be called the best for parliamentary activity. After the overthrow of the socialist system, Poland became one of the most successful countries in Europe and certainly the most prosperous of the former socialist states. The Parliament of Poland has once again become a true legislative body.
Structure of Parliament
With the formation of the post-socialist Republic of Poland in 1992, a new constitution was adopted, which established a bicameral structure of parliament. The Senate, following the model of many European countries, including Russia, is the upper board, in which representatives of the regions sit.
The lower house of parliament in Poland is called the Sejm, to which deputies are elected forbasis of the national vote. The Senate is elected by 100 senators by secret ballot in direct general elections. 460 deputies are elected to the Seimas under the same similar conditions.
The country's parliamentary system dates back to 1493, when King Jan Olbracht convened the General Congress. This first-ever parliament in Poland was attended by the king, the Senate and the Embassy's hut. Representatives of the highest aristocracy (for example, governors, castellans - managers of the castle) and high-ranking religious figures (archbishops, bishops) were appointed to the Senate by the king for life.
The Ambassador's hut, which served as the Chamber of Deputies, included representatives of the Polish nobility (gentry). Deputies were elected at the congresses of the gentry, which were called sejmiks. The Senate sat only with the king and for this historical reason was called the Upper House, although in modern Poland it has much more powers. Seimas sessions were held separately under the leadership of a marshal elected from among the deputies.
The chairmen of both chambers of the Polish parliament are called marshals, the collegiate governing body of the chambers are the Presidiums of the Senate and the Sejm. The Marshal of the Seimas directs the work of the lower chamber, convenes and leads the work of the Presidium and the Council of Elders, organizes work with documents related to cooperation with the European Union, the Senate, parliaments of other countries and state bodies of the country.
Marshal of the Senate manages the work of the Upper Chamber, deals with issues of cooperation with the Seimas, parliaments of other countries, with institutions and organizations of the European Union. There are also councils of elders and commissions in both chambers.
Powers of the Seimas
Although the Sejm is the Lower House of the Polish Parliament, it has the main legislative powers and control functions, and can even form commissions of inquiry. The work of the country's government is fully controlled by the Seimas, which can make inquiries, declare a vote of confidence or no confidence, both in the council of ministers and in individual members of the government. It is in charge of the authority to approve and control the execution of the state budget.
The lower house of the Polish Parliament appoints the highest officials of some state organizations and exercises control over their financial and administrative activities. Among such organizations are the Chairmen of the National Bank, the State Tribunal, the Constitutional Court, members of the Council for Monetary Policy. The Seimas may be dissolved by the president or by way of self-dissolution if at least 2/3 of the deputies vote for it. The lower house cannot be dissolved if there is a state of emergency in the country. An interesting feature of the Parliament of the Polish state is that the termination of the Sejm leads to the automatic dissolution of the Senate.
Powers of the Senate
The Upper House of the Polish Parliament also participates in the legislativeactivities, however, has significantly less rights than the Seimas. Draft legislative acts are sent to the Senate after voting in the Seimas. However, the decision of the former, which rejects the law or provides for amendments, is considered accepted, unless the latter rejects them by a majority vote.
The work with the Polish diaspora is fully under the control of the Senate; programs for the dissemination of the Polish language, the popularization of culture and historical heritage are financed from its budget. Approvals of some senior officials of state departments and organizations are consistent with the Upper Chamber.
How to choose
Both houses of the Polish Parliament are elected for a four-year term. Elections to the Senate and the Seimas are appointed for one day by the president of the country. All Polish citizens have the right to vote, unless declared legally incompetent or deprived of voting rights in accordance with the law, regardless of nationality, religion and we alth.
Polish citizens can be elected to the Sejm, starting from the age of 21, elections are held according to the proportional system, when deputies are elected from party lists. At least seven deputies are elected to the Seimas from each constituency. Polish citizens from the age of 30 can be elected to the Senate, elections are held in single-member districts. Parties, coalitions of parties or electoral committees (registered groups of Polish citizens of at least 1,000 people) have the right to nominate candidates for both houses of the Polish Parliament.