2009 | 3(92) |
Article title

SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT UNDER THE ROUND-TABLE AGREEMENTS (Ustrój panstwa w porozumieniach Okraglego Stolu)

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The article provides an analysis of the system of government during the period of its transformation from 'the state of Communist nomenclature' to 'the state of civil society'. The most important elements of this process included: legalization of Solidarity trade union and establishment of new organs: President of the Republic (an office with wide powers, held at that time by Wojciech Jaruzelski) and the Senate (to be elected in free election), as well as the so-called 'contractual' election of deputies to the Sejm (65% of all seats reserved to the regime parties and the remaining 35% to be chosen in free election). Looking from the perspective of today, we may say that the system of government adopted in the Round-Table agreement provided some 'cracks' (through which the changes could be forced), but also particular measures to prevent the evolution from being excessively fast. These measures did not only protect the socialist system of the state, but first of all they were aimed at protection of those political groups and persons which were in power in that system. The analysis made by the author shows the existence of a peculiar negotiation philosophy used to solve political disputes and legal problems (manifested, in particular, in the course of modification of electoral law between the first and the second round of the election of June 1989). One may, however, wonder whether this philosophy has subsequently resulted in the practice that the decisions of highest importance for the state and the people are held in secret? This question is justified by the Rywin affair. If such a practice really took place, this could mean that public debates on the state policy guidelines would be only a surface reality, and actual decision-making process would be taken behind closed doors.
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  • Marek Dobrowolski, Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski, Wydzial Prawa, Prawa Kanonicznego i Administracji, al. Raclawickie 14, 20-950 Lublin, Poland
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