Parliament of Poland

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Parliament of Poland
Parlament Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej
Polish coat of arms
Type
Type
Houses
Term limits
4 years
Leadership
Stanisław Karczewski, PiS
Since 12 November 2015
Marek Kuchciński, PiS
Since 12 November 2015
Structure
Seats
Senat IX.svg
Senate political groups
Government (64)[1]
  •      PiS (64)

Opposition (33)[1]

  •      PO (33)

Others (3)

POL Sejm RP seats 2015.svg
Sejm political groups
Government
  •      PiS (234)

Opposition

Elections
First-past-the-post voting
Proportional representationa
Senate last election
6 March 2016
Sejm last election
25 October 2015
Senate next election
No later than 25 October 2019
Sejm next election
No later than 25 October 2019
Meeting place
Sejm RP.jpg
Sejm building, Warsaw
Footnotes
a Open-list proportional representation in 41 constituencies (5% national election threshold, 8% national election threshold for coalitions).

The parliament of Poland has an upper house, the Senate, and a lower house, the Sejm. Both houses are accommodated in the Sejm complex in Warsaw. The parliament itself is without an official name; the Constitution refers only to the Sejm and the Senate.

Members of both houses are elected by direct election, usually every four years. The Sejm has 460 members, while the Senate has 100 senators. To become law, a bill must first be approved by both houses, but the Sejm can override a Senate refusal to pass a bill.

On certain occasions, the Marshal of the Sejm summons the National Assembly, a joint session of the members of both houses. Its function is mostly ceremonial in nature, and it only convenes occasionally, such as to witness the inauguration of the President. Under exceptional circumstances, the constitution endows the National Assembly with significant responsibilities, such as the power to bring the President before the State Tribunal (impeachment).The current leading party is Law and Justice (PiS) with 234 out of 460 seats in Sejm and 61 out of 100 seats in Senate. The two debating halls have designated seats for the deputies, senators and the Marshals, equipped with voting devices, used by the deputies and senators to vote.

Herb Polski.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Poland
The Senate debating hall

National Assembly[edit]

National Assembly
Zgromadzenie Narodowe
Leadership
Marek Kuchciński, PiS
Since 12 November 2015
Stanisław Karczewski, PiS
Since 12 November 2015
Seats
460 deputies and 100 senators
,560 when sitting in joint session
Meeting place
The Sejm building in Warsaw
National Assembly in session

The National Assembly (Polish: Zgromadzenie Narodowe) is the name of a joint sitting of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland and the Senate of the Republic of Poland. It is headed by the Marshal of the Sejm (or by the Marshal of the Senate when the former is absent).

Under the 1997 Constitution of Poland the National Assembly has the authority to

  • declare the President's permanent incapacity to exercise his duties due to the state of his health (by a majority vote of at least two-thirds of the statutory number of members),
  • bring an indictment against the President to the State Tribunal (by a majority of at least two-thirds of the statutory number of members, on the motion of at least 140 members),
  • adopt its own rules of procedure.

The National Assembly is also called in order to

  • receive the President's oath of office,
  • hear a presidential address (however, the President may choose to deliver his address to either the Sejm or the Senate).

In the years 1922–1935 and 1989–1990, it was the National Assembly who elected the President of the Republic of Poland by an absolute majority of votes. In 1935, it was replaced by an Assembly of Electors, which consisted of the Marshal of the Senate (as president of Assembly of Electors), the Marshal of the Sejm, the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice, the General Armed Forces Inspector, 50 electors elected by the Sejm, and 25 electors elected by the Senate. The Senate was abolished in 1946 so in 1947 Bolesław Bierut was elected President only by the Sejm. There were no presidents from 1952 until 1989 when the Senate was restored and the National Assembly elected Wojciech Jaruzelski as President.

Since 1990, the President has been elected by the people. However, the President is still sworn in before the National Assembly, which is also the only organ which can declare the President's permanent incapacity to perform his duties, or bring an indictment against him before State Tribunal.

From 1992 to 1997, the National Assembly drafted and passed a new Constitution, which was approved by a national referendum on 25 May 1997.

References[edit]