2011 | 1(102) | 43-69
Article title

THE CONCEPT OF REFORM OF LAW IN RELATION TO GENERAL ELECTIONS TO THE SEJM AND SENATE IN THE PROCESS OF ADOPTION OF THE AUGUST AMENDMENT (Koncepcje zmiany prawa wyborczego do Sejmu i Senatu w procesie uchwalania noweli sierpniowej)

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The coup d'état carried out in May 1926 by Joseph Pilsudski proved a significant turning point in the history of the Second Republic, as it put en end to parliamentary turn democracy existing since 1918-1919. The coup affected all elements of political system, including the actions of the Sejm and the Senate of the first term of office, aimed at development of new instruments of electoral law (in relation to representative bodies). It resulted from the general objective of the Pilsudski's camp, i.e. to strengthen the institutions of the executive rather than improve the mechanisms of creation of parliament. In June 1926, many bills have been submitted in the Sejm with the aim of transformation (in part or in the whole) of the principles governing elections of Deputies to the Sejm and Senators. After a discussion lasting several months in parliament no changes in this matter have been enacted. It turned out that none of the proposals submitted by Centre-Right parliamentary groups did not get acceptance from Deputies and Senators. The content of the proposals was too controversial for them to reach a qualified majority of votes in a highly fragmented parliament (which resulted from Pilsudski's actions). It turned out again that it is easier to voice ideas than turn them into action. Thereby, the call for improvement of the system of general elections to the Sejm and Senate, which was one of most important subject of public debate in the 1920s, receded, imperceptibly, into the background. And it was only in 1935 that such improvement was carried out as an element of a wider process of transformation of the system of government, culminating in the adoption of the April Constitution.
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  • Kamil Kacperski, Wyzsza Szkola Psychologii Spolecznej, ul. Chodakowska 19/31, 03-815 Warszawa, Poland
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