Poland is a democratic constitutional state that implements the principles of social justice, the rule of the people, a unitary state, separation of powers, pluralism and subsidiarity. Parliamentary republic. The 1997 Constitution is in force. Check computerminus for political system of Poland.
Since January 1999, a three-stage administrative-territorial division has been introduced: 16 voivodeships – Lower Silesian (capital Wroclaw), Kuyavia-Pomeranian (Bydgoszcz), Lubelskoe (Lublin), Lubuskoe (Zielona Gora), Lodzskoe (Lodz), Lesser Poland (Krakow), Mazowieckie ( Warsaw), Opole (Opole), Subcarpathian (Rzeszow), Podlasie (Bialystok), Pomeranian (Gdansk), Swietokrzyskie (Kielce), Silesian (Katowice), Warmian-Masurian (Olsztyn), Greater Poland (Poznan), West Pomeranian (Szczecin), as well as 308 zemstvo poviats and 65 urban (cities with the rights of poviats) and 2489 gminas.
Largest cities (thousand people): Warsaw, Lodz (829.0), Krakow (738.2), Wroclaw (650.0), Poznan (581.7), Gdansk (458.0), Szczecin (416, 3), Bydgoszcz (386.3), Lublin (356.0), Katowice (340.7).
The highest body of legislative power is the Sejm and the Senate, which form the National Assembly (Parliament). The Sejm (lower house) consists of 460 deputies, the Senate (upper house) – of 100 senators. Deputies and senators are elected for 4 years. The procedure for parliamentary elections is determined by the Seimas and Senate Elections Act 2001. Seimas elections are universal, equal, direct and proportional and are held by secret ballot. Elections to the Senate are universal, direct and held by secret ballot.
Candidates for deputies and senators can be nominated by political parties and voters. When distributing mandates in electoral districts, district lists of candidates for deputies of the Seimas who received at least 5% of the votes in the country in elections, and those blocs that received at least 8% of the votes, are taken into account. Parliamentary elections in 2001 led to a change in the composition of both chambers. The Marshal (Speaker) of the Seimas since October 2001 is Marek Borovsky (SDLS), the Marshal of the Senate is Longvin Pastusiak (SDLS).
The supreme executive power is represented by the President and the Council of Ministers. The head of state – the president – is elected by popular vote for a term of 5 years in general direct elections for no more than two terms. The President is the highest representative of Poland in the international arena, the guarantor of the continuity of state power, the implementation of the Constitution, the sovereignty and security of the country, the supreme commander in chief.
The post of president was restored by decision of the round table, and in 1989 the National Assembly elected Wojciech Jaruzelski as the first president of the country, who held this post until December 1990. Lech Walesa, the leader of Solidarity, was elected president (1990-95) in the first general elections. In December 1995, Aleksander Kwasniewski, leader of the Polish Social Democrats, was elected president. In November 2000 he was re-elected for a second term. During Kwasniewski’s rule, Poland was admitted to NATO, a lot of preparatory work was done for joining the EU, and a policy of normalizing relations with the Russian Federation was pursued.
The Council of Ministers is the main collegiate body of executive power, it conducts domestic and foreign policy, directs the government administration, it is accountable exclusively to the Sejm. According to the Constitution, the Sejm can express no confidence in the government. The expression of a vote of no confidence in the government (head of government) must be combined with the simultaneous (in one decision) election of a new head of government.
Tadeusz Mazowiecki (1989–90), an adviser to Solidarity, became the first prime minister of post-socialist Poland. His government has the greatest merit in reforming the economy and creating the foundations of a market economy. The “father” of Polish economic reforms is considered to be the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Leszek Balcerowicz, under whose leadership the ideology and methodology of market transformation in Poland was created.
The prime ministers in succession were: Jan Krzysztof Bielecki (1990–91), Jan Olszewski (1991–92), Hanna Suchocka (1992–93), Waldemar Pawlak (1993–95), Jozef Oleksy (1995–96), Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz ( 1996-97), Jerzy Buzek (1997-2001). Following the results of the 2001 parliamentary elections, a coalition government headed by Leszek Miller was formed, which included representatives of the SDLS, the Union of Labor and the PKP. However, in 2003 the SLD and the Union of Labor broke the coalition with the PKP, and the Miller government became a minority government.
The legislative power of a commune (a first-level administrative division of the country) is a council elected in local elections. The executive power in rural communes is the voit, in small and medium-sized towns – the burgomaster, and in large towns – the president (mayor). All of them have been elected in direct general elections since 2002. The leadership of the poviat (units of the second level) is represented by the council of the poviat, elected in general elections, and the head of the executive branch (starosta). The governing bodies of the voivodship (the largest administrative unit) are the sejmik, elected in general elections, and the voivodeship board. The marshal of the voivodship is at the head of the sejmik and the board. The representative of the central government in the voivodship is the voivode.
In 2002, approx. 130 political parties. Leading are 7 parties represented in the diet. SDLS (approx. 160 thousand members) was formed in 1999 on the basis of the Social Democracy of the Republic of Poland. In 1991–99 the SDLS was a coalition of approx. 30 parties, trade unions and public organizations. At the 1st congress of the SDLS in December 1999, L. Miller was elected chairman of the party.
Civic Platform is a center-right, conservative-liberal party. It was created in 2001–02 on the basis of the Solidarity electoral bloc and the liberal Union of Freedom, chaired by Donald Tusk.
“Self-Defense of the Republic of Poland” is a radical party of peasants and residents of small towns who are dissatisfied with the social system existing in Poland, supporters of direct action. Established in 1992, chaired by Andrzej Lepper.
The PKP was formed on May 5, 1990 and includes St. 200 thousand members, chairman – Yaroslav Kalinovsky.
Law and Justice is a right-wing party that advocates order and tougher fight against crime. Founded in 2001, party chairman – Yaroslav Kaczynski.
The League of Polish Families is a party of radical right-wing national Catholics, opponents of Poland’s membership in the EU. Founded in 2001, chaired by Roman Gertykh.
The Union of Labor is the only left-wing Social Democratic party that emerged from the depths of Solidarity. Established in 1992, chaired by Marek Pohl.
Leading business organizations: the Polish Business Council, which brings together large entrepreneurs, and the Business Center Club, which includes medium and small businessmen. In 2002, 36.5 thousand public associations were registered in Poland, St. 5 thousand funds. Their main areas of activity are sports (36.5% of organizations), education, education (12.4%), healthcare, assistance to the disabled (11.6%). The independent self-governing trade union “Solidarity”, created in 1980 and restored in 1989, has approx. 1.2 million members. Chairman of the All-Polish Commission of the Trade Union – Janusz Sniadek. In 1983, the All-Polish Agreement of Trade Unions (UWSP) was formed, uniting St. 100 industry organizations and approx. 3 million members. Chairman of the AUPU – Maciej Manitsky.
Domestic politics in the 1990s pursued the goals of creating a stable functioning democratic political system, carrying out market reforms and improving the welfare of the population. Taking into account the experience of developed countries, a reform of constitutional, civil, economic and criminal law was carried out. To date, the main democratic institutions function as self-regulating mechanisms.
In the 1990s Western direction prevailed in Poland’s foreign policy. The main policy objectives are: Poland’s accession to NATO (1999) and the European Union, maintaining good neighborly relations with other states, striving to strengthen Poland’s position in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), etc.
The armed forces of Poland serve to protect the independence of the state, the indivisibility of its territory, to ensure the security and inviolability of borders. In 2000, the Polish army consisted of St. 189 thousand military personnel; to con. By 2003, it should be reduced to 150 thousand people, and half of the military contingent will be transferred to a contract basis. The term of service in the army is 12 months.
Poland has had diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation since 1921. In the 1990s. in relations between Poland and the Russian Federation, attempts at rapprochement were replaced by a cooling of mutual ties. In 1992-93 a new legal basis for mutual relations between the two countries was created. In addition, in 1992, documents relating to the “Katyn tragedy” were handed over to the Polish side. In 1993, the bases of Russian troops in Poland were liquidated. After a period of noticeable cooling in relations with Ser. 2000 there is a process of their normalization and development, which intensified after the visit to Poland in January 2002 of the President of the Russian Federation V.V. Putin.