Polish Parliament turns 525 years old


The history of parliament in Poland has more than five hundred years, during which time the country twice disappeared from the map of the planet, when it was first part of the Russian Empire, and then the German Reich. And the time when the country was part of the socialist camp cannot be called the best for parliamentary activity. After the overthrow of the socialist system, Poland became one of the most successful countries in Europe and certainly the most prosperous of the former socialist states. The Polish Parliament has once again become a real legislative body.

Parliament structure

With the formation of the post-socialist Republic of Poland in 1992, a new Constitution was adopted, in accordance with which a bicameral parliament structure was established. The Senate, modeled on many European countries, including Russia, is the top fee in which representatives of the regions sit.


The lower house of parliament in Poland is called the Sejm, to which deputies are elected on the basis of a nationwide vote. The Senate elects 100 senators by secret ballot in general direct elections. 460 deputies are elected to the Sejm on the same similar conditions.


The country's parliamentary system dates back to 1493, when King Jan Olbracht convened a General Congress. The first in the history of the parliament in Poland was attended by the king, the senate and the ambassadorial hut. Representatives of the highest aristocracy (for example, voivods, kastelyans - who governed the castle) and high-ranking religious figures (archbishops, bishops) were appointed to the Senate by the king for life.


The structure of the Embassy hut, which served as the Chamber of Deputies, included representatives of the Polish nobility (gentry). Deputies were elected at congresses of the nobility, which were called seimikami. The Senate sat only with the King and for this historical reason was called the Upper House, although in modern Poland it has much more powers. Meetings of the Seimas were held separately under the direction of the marshal, elected from among the deputies.

Governing bodies

The chairmen of both houses of the Polish parliament are called marshals, the collegial body of the chambers is the Presidency of the Senate and the Sejm. Marshal of the Sejm directs the work of the lower house, convenes and chairs the work of the Presidium and the Council of Elders, organizes work with documents related to cooperation with the European Union, the Senate, parliaments of other countries and government bodies of the country.


The Marshal of the Senate directs the work of the Upper Chamber, deals with issues of cooperation with the Sejm, parliaments of other countries, with institutions and organizations of the European Union. Also in both chambers there are councils of elders and commissions.

Powers of the Diet

Although the Sejm is the Lower House of the Polish Parliament, it has basic legislative powers and control functions and can even form investigation commissions. The work of the country's government is fully controlled by the Sejm, which can make inquiries, declare a vote of confidence or mistrust, both to the council of ministers and to individual members of the government. He is in charge of approving and monitoring the execution of the state budget.


The Lower House of the Polish Parliament appoints the highest officials of certain state organizations and oversees their financial and administrative activities. Among such organizations, including the Chairmen of the National Bank, the State Tribunal, the Constitutional Court, members of the Council on Monetary Policy Affairs. The Sejm may be dissolved by the President or by self-dismissal if at least 2/3 of the deputies vote for this. The lower house can not be dissolved if there is a state of emergency in the country. An interesting feature of the parliament of the Polish state is that the termination of the Sejm’s activities leads to the automatic dissolution of the Senate.

Senate powers

The upper chamber of the Polish parliament is also involved in legislative activity, but it has significantly fewer rights than the Sejm. Drafts of legislative acts are sent to the Senate after voting in the Sejm. However, the decision of the first, which rejects the law or provides for the introduction of amendments, is considered adopted, if the second does not reject them by majority vote.


The Senate is completely in charge of the work with the Polish diaspora, from its budget programs are being funded to spread the Polish language, popularize culture and historical heritage. Allegations in the position of some senior officials of government departments and organizations are consistent with the Upper Chamber.

How are selected

Both houses of the Polish parliament are elected for a four-year term. Elections to the Senate and the Sejm are scheduled for one day by the president of the country. All Polish citizens have the right to vote if they are not recognized as incapable or not deprived of voting rights in accordance with the law, regardless of nationality, religion or wealth.

Polish citizens can be elected to the Sejm from the age of 21, elections are held according to the proportional system, when deputies are elected by party lists. At least seven deputies are elected from each district to the Seimas. Polish citizens from the age of 30 may be elected to the Senate, elections are held in single-member constituencies. Parties, coalitions of parties or committees of voters (registered groups of at least 1000 citizens) have the right to nominate candidates to both houses of the Polish parliament.

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