ON THE PROPOSAL OF AMENDMENT OF POLAND'S CONSTITUTION OF 1997
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In the course of parliamentary and presidential election campaign held in 2005, the majority of main political parties opted for change of the existing Constitution of 1997. Two parties: the Law and Justice (Prawo i Sprawiedliwosc) and Self-Defence (Samoobrona) submitted comprehensive drafts of new constitution, while Civic Platform (Platforma Obywatelska) presented a draft of far-reaching modifications of the existing constitution. Moreover, the scholar community has for years been conducted studies to assess the functioning of Poland's Constitution. The draft of amendments submitted by the Civic Platform was mostly designed to reinforce the status of the Council of Ministers in the system of chief organs of the State. The Council of Ministers would be a body which does not only 'conducts' (as is provided for in the existing text), but also 'determines' internal and foreign policy of the Republic of Poland. The position of the prime minister within the structures of government was to be strengthened. As concerns the legislative power, the proposal included: the abolishment of the Senate, reduction of the number of the Deputies to the Sejm and elimination of the principle of proportionality in elections to the Sejm and the Senate, and replacing it by majority elections. The draft also provided for some changes aimed at limiting the privileges of the authorities (e.g. elimination of formal immunity/non-liability privilege). The Law and Justice submitted a draft of a new constitution. It would provide a basis for a new system of government called the Forth Republic. As concerns the legislative power, it proposed: maintenance of the Senate whose members, however, would not be elected together with the Deputies to the Sejm (but on the dates set forth local government elections) The scope of competence of the President of the Republic was to be extended to include,'inter alia', the right to adopt regulations having the force of statute. As concerns the judicial power, a new procedure for election of judges of the Constitutional Tribunal and the Tribunal of State was proposed. Moreover, organization of the system of State organs was to be changed, including abolishment of the National Broadcasting Council and deconstitutionalization of the Bureau of National Security.
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