Browse the listing below to find government information for Poland, including flags, leaders,
and constitution information. Factrover also has complete information on Poland at its
Poland Country Page.
Constitution: The constitution now in effect was approved by a national referendum on May 25, 1997. The constitution codifies Poland's democratic norms and establishes checks and balances among the president, prime minister, and parliament. It also enhances several key elements of democracy, including judicial review and the legislative process, while continuing to guarantee the wide range of civil rights, such as the right to free speech, press, and assembly, which Poles have enjoyed since 1989. Branches: Executive--head of state (president), head of government (prime minister). Legislative--bicameral National Assembly (lower house--Sejm, upper house--Senate). Judicial--Supreme Court, provincial and local courts, constitutional tribunal.
Administrative subdivisions: 16 provinces (voivodships).
Political parties (in Parliament): Democratic Left Alliance (SLD), Citizens Platform (PO), Self-Defense (Samoobrona), Law and Justice (PiS), Polish Peasant Party (PSL), League of Polish Families (LPR), Union of Labor (UP), Conservative Peasant Alliance (SKL).
Suffrage: Universal at 18.
Government of Poland
The current government structure consists of a council of ministers led by a Prime Minister, typically chosen from a majority coalition in the bicameral legislature's lower house. The president elected every 5 years is head of state. The judicial branch plays a minor role in decisionmaking.
Former SLD leader Aleksander Kwasniewski was re-elected President in October 2000. Kwasniewski received in the first round 53.9% of the popular vote. In second place was Andrzej Olechowski --17.3%. President Kwasniewski has supported Polish membership in NATO and the EU and backed the SLD's legislative agenda on issues such as redrafting the constitution and abortion liberalization.
The parliament, consisting of 460 members of the Sejm and 100 members of the Senate, was elected in September 2001 in free and fair elections in which 15 political parties participated. The new Constitution and the reformed administrative division (as of 1999) required a revision of the election ordinance (passed in April 2001). The most important changes were liquidation of a national list (all deputies were elected by voters in constituencies) and introduction of a new method of calculating seats (the modified St. Lague method replaced the d'Hondt method, thus eliminating the premium for the top parties). The law stipulated that with the exception of guaranteed seats for small ethnic parties, only parties receiving at least 5% of the total vote could enter parliament. As of October 2001, eight parties and the German minority are represented in the Sejm.
Currently, Poland is led by the minority SLD-UP coalition, headed by Prime Minister Leszek Miller. The government maintains generally pro-market economic policies, has made EU accession and bringing Poland's financial house in order its priorities, and is committed to a democratic political system. The ruling SLD-UP government holds 193 seats in the Sejm and 75 seats in the Senate.
Along with SLD, other parties represented in Parliament are Citizens Platform (PO), Self-defense (Samoobrona), Law and Justice (PiS), Polish Peasant Party (PSL), League of Polish Families (LPR), Union of Labor (UP), and Conservative Peasant Alliance (SKL). Poland's next parliamentary elections and presidential election are scheduled for 2005.