Poland Travel & Tourism Guide
Government of Poland
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The Sejm building in Warsaw
Poland is a democracy, with a President as a Head of State, whose current constitution dates from 1997. The government structure centres on the Council of Ministers, led by a prime minister. The president appoints the cabinet according to the proposals of the prime minister, typically from the majority coalition in the Sejm. The president is elected by popular vote every five years. The current president is Lech Kaczyński, the current prime minister is Donald Tusk.
Polish voters elect a bicameral parliament consisting of a 460-member lower house and a 100-member Senate. The Sejm is elected under proportional representation according to the d'Hondt method, a method similar to that used in many parliamentary political systems. The Senate, on the other hand, is elected under a rare plurality bloc voting method where several candidates with the highest support are elected from each constituency. With the exception of ethnic minority parties, only candidates of political parties receiving at least 5% of the total national vote can enter the Sejm. When sitting in joint session, members of the Sejm and Senate form the National Assembly. The National Assembly is formed on three occasions: when a new President takes the oath of office; when an indictment against the President of the Republic is brought to the State Tribunal; and when a President's permanent incapacity to exercise his duties due to the state of his health is declared. To date, only the first instance has occurred.
The judicial branch plays an important role in decision-making. Its major institutions include the Supreme Court of the Republic of Poland; the Supreme Administrative Court of the Republic of Poland; the Constitutional Tribunal of the Republic of Poland; and the State Tribunal of the Republic of Poland. On the approval of the Senate, the Sejm also appoints the Ombudsman or the Commissioner for Civil Rights Protection 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.
Source: Wikipedia Encyclopedia
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