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Poland Government
Capital:
Warsaw
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Poland
conventional short form: Poland
local short form: Polska
local long form: Rzeczpospolita Polska
Government type:
republic
Administrative divisions:
16 provinces (wojewodztwa, singular - wojewodztwo); Dolnoslaskie, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Lodzkie, Lubelskie, Lubuskie, Malopolskie, Mazowieckie, Opolskie, Podkarpackie, Podlaskie, Pomorskie, Slaskie, Swietokrzyskie, Warminsko-Mazurskie, Wielkopolskie, Zachodniopomorskie
Independence:
11 November 1918 (independent republic proclaimed)
National holiday:
Constitution Day, 3 May (1791)
Constitution:
adopted by the National Assembly 2 April 1997; passed by national referendum 25 May 1997; effective 17 October 1997
Legal system:
mixture of Continental (Napoleonic) civil law and holdover Communist legal theory; changes being gradually introduced as part of broader democratization process; limited judicial review of legislative acts, but rulings of the Constitutional Tribunal are final; court decisions can be appealed to the European Court of Justice in Strasbourg
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Aleksander KWASNIEWSKI (since 23 December 1995)
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 8 October 2000 (next to be held NA October 2005); prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president and confirmed by the Sejm
head of government: Prime Minister Marek BELKA (since 24 June 2004); Deputy Prime Minister Jerzy HAUSNER (since 11 June 2003)
cabinet: Council of Ministers responsible to the prime minister and the Sejm; the prime minister proposes, the president appoints, and the Sejm approves the Council of Ministers
election results: Aleksander KWASNIEWSKI reelected president; percent of popular vote - Aleksander KWASNIEWSKI 53.9%, Andrzej OLECHOWSKI 17.3%, Marian KRZAKLEWSKI 15.6%, Lech WALESA 1%
Legislative branch:
bicameral legislature consisting of an upper house, the Senate or Senat (100 seats; members are elected by a majority vote on a provincial basis to serve four-year terms), and a lower house, the Sejm (460 seats; members are elected under a complex system of proportional representation to serve four-year terms); the designation of National Assembly or Zgromadzenie Narodowe is only used on those rare occasions when the two houses meet jointly
elections: Sejm elections last held 23 September 2001 (next to be held by September 2005); Senate - last held 23 September 2001 (next to be held by September 2005)
election results: Sejm - percent of vote by party - SLD-UP 41%, PO 12.7%, Samoobrona 10.2%, PiS 9.5%, PSL 9%, LPR 7.9%, AWSP 5.6% UW 3.1%, other 1%; seats by party (as of 16 January 2004) - SLD 190, PO 56, PiS 43, PSL 37, SO 31, LPR 29, UP 16, PLD 10, SKL 8, PBL 6, PRS 5, RKN 5, PP 3, ROP 3, German minorities 2, independents 16; Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party (as of 16 January 2004)- SLD-UP 74, Block Senate 2001 10, PSL and unaffiliated 5, UW 4, SO 2, LPR 2, independents 2, PiS 1
note: two seats are assigned to ethnic minority parties in the Sejm only
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president on the recommendation of the National Council of the Judiciary for an indefinite period); Constitutional Tribunal (judges are chosen by the Sejm for nine-year terms)
Political parties and leaders:
Catholic-National Movement or RKN [Antoni MACIEREWICZ]; Citizens Platform or PO [Donald TUSK]; Coalition Electoral Action Solidarity of the Right or AWSP; Conservative Peasants Party or SKL-RNP [Artur BALAZS]; Democratic Left Alliance or SLD [Krzysztof JANIK]; Freedom Union or UW [Wladyslaw FRASYNIUK]; German Minority of Lower Silesia or MNSO [Henryk KROLL]; Law and Justice or PiS [Jaroslaw KACZYNSKI]; League of Polish Families or LPR [Marek KOTLINOWSKI]; Movement for the Reconstruction of Poland or ROP [Jan OLSZEWSKI]; Peasant-Democratic Party or PLD [Roman JAGIELINSKI]; Polish Accord or PP [Jan LOPUSZANSKI]; Polish Peasant Bloc or PBL [Wojciech MOJZESOWICZ]; Polish Peasant Party or PSL [Janusz WOJCIECHOWSKI]; Polish Raison d'Etat or PRS [Zbigniew Witaszek]; Samoobrona or SO [Andrzej LEPPER]; Social Movement or RS [Krzysztof PIESIEWICZ]; Union of Labor or UP [Marek POL]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
All Poland Trade Union Alliance or OPZZ (trade union) [Maciej MANICKI]; Roman Catholic Church [Cardinal Jozef GLEMP]; Solidarity Trade Union [Janusz SNIADEK]
International organization participation:
ACCT (observer), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EU (new member), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM (guest), NATO, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMEE, UNMIK, UNMIL, UNOMIG, UPU, WCL, WCO, WEU (associate), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Przemyslaw GRUDZINSKI
chancery: 2640 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
FAX: [1] (202) 328-6270
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York
telephone: [1] (202) 234-3800 through 3802
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Christopher R. HILL
embassy: Aleje Ujazdowskie 29/31 00-540 Warsaw P1
mailing address: American Embassy Warsaw, US Department of State, 5010 Warsaw Place, Washington, DC 20521-5010 (pouch)
telephone: [48] (22) 504-2000
FAX: [48] (22) 504-2951
consulate(s) general: Krakow
Flag description:
two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red; similar to the flags of indonesia and monaco which are red (top) and white
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