What Type Of Government Does Poland Have?

A building of the Polish government.
A building of the Polish government.

Poland is a country located in Central Europe, between the Baltic Sea and two mountain ranges (Sudetes and Carpathian). The country has an approximate population of 40 million people. It is a unitary state with 16 administrative subdivisions and Warsaw as its capital city. Poland is a representative democracy, with the country ranking among the most peaceful countries in the world. The president of Poland heads the state with the government centered on the Cabinet. The parliament is made up of both the lower (Sejm) and the upper (Senate) houses. The Constitution defines the Polish political system with the judicial branch playing a minor role in the politics of the country. There are three major arms of government in Poland including the executive, legislative, and the judiciary.

The Executive Branch Of The Government Of Poland

The executive branch of the government of Poland is made up of the president, the premier, the cabinet, and other government officials. The president of Poland heads the state. He or she is elected by popular vote on a five-year term. The president is the supreme commander of the Polish forces and represents the country in foreign affairs. He or she has the powers to make some of the appointments including the prime minister, Chief of the General Staff, and First President of the Supreme Court. He also appoints the cabinet in consultation with the premier. The current president, Andrzej Duda, took the oath of office on August 6, 2015. The president nominates the prime minister and his deputies for approval by the lower house (Sejm). The premier heads the Council of Ministers. The cabinet, led by the premier, is responsible for government decision making and implementation of government policies. The Cabinet is answerable to the Sejm.

The Legislative Branch Of The Government Of Poland

Poland has a bicameral parliament made up of the Sejm and the Senate. Sejm consist of 460 elected members who serve for a four-year term while the Senate has 100 elected members who also serve for a four-year term. The Sejm members are elected by proportional representation using the d’Hondt method. Only candidates who receive at least 5% of the national votes can make it to the Sejm. Members of the two houses form the National Assembly when having a joint session. The National Assembly is formed on three main occasions: when the new president is taking the oath of office, when declaring the president permanently incapacitated to discharge their duties, and when bringing an indictment against the head of state to the Tribunal of State. Since 1999, the joint session has only been held during the swearing-in of the new president.

The Judicial Branch Of The Government Of Poland

The judicial branch is an integral part of the Polish government. It plays a significant role in decision-making. The judiciary is made up of the Supreme Court, the Supreme Administrative Court, the Constitutional Tribunal, and the State Tribunal. The president appoints the First President of the Supreme Court and the President of the Constitutional Tribunal with the Sejm approving such appointments. The judges have the responsibility of interpreting the Constitution and passing judgments. The administrative courts are headed by the judges who work under the President of the Supreme Court. The judiciary plays a minor role in the politics of the country apart from the Constitutional Tribunal which can consider a constitutional appeal regarding freedoms guaranteed in the constitution


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