electoral law

  • Major Dilemmas and Increasing Dysfunctions of the Polish Local Government Model on the Basis of an Electoral Law and Metropolitan Act

    The right for electing the representatives of authority bodies is one of the fundamentals of democracy. This right entitles citizens for active public participation through expressing their support (votes) for candidates, which will respectively represent their voters in certain institutions. Polish electoral law, which regulates the local self–government elections is very controversial. The existing legal rules were changed many times since 2011. Among the subjects being discussed one can mention electoral campaigns, candidate registration rules and organization of elections. Frequent changes in the electoral law result in misunderstandings and unwillingness to participate in elections. Their effect is low voter turnout and a large number of invalid votes. To sum up considerations over a political model of large cities, it is worth to indicate that during the last 25 years of operation of Polish local government none of political models of big cities was adopted. 

  • Debating the Electoral Law in Poland

    The International Conference Challenges of Contemporary Electoral Law
    Toruń, (12 June, 2015), Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń. 

  • The problem of low voting turnout in Polish democratic elections. The catalogue of changes in electoral law

  • Zmiana przepisów Kodeksu wyborczego przed wyborami samorządowymi 2018

    11 stycznia 2018 r. Sejm RP uchwalił ustawę wprowadzającą wiele zmian do Kodeksu wyborczego. Najważniejsze zmiany dotyczyły administracji wyborczej, komisji wyborczych oraz praw wyborczych. Artykuł analizuje szczegółowe konsekwencje polityczne najważniejszych z tych reform. Autor dowodzi, że część z tych zmian, w szczególności dotyczących struktury Państwowej Komisji Wyborczej i administracji wyborczej jako takiej, może doprowadzić do kryzysu organizacyjnego i politycznego podczas wyborów samorządowych w 2018 r. Nie oznacza to jednak, że zmiany w obszarze prawa wyborczego nie są konieczne. Modyfikacje są potrzebą, ale wcześniej powinny być bardzo dokładnie przemyślane. System wyborczy jest bowiem jednym z najbardziej podanych na manipulacje instrumentów politycznych. Tymczasem uczciwa rywalizacja partyjna wymaga, aby reguły wyborcze nie były zmieniane zbyt pochopnie i często, zwłaszcza bezpośrednio przed wyborami.

  • Current Amendments to Polish Electoral Law in the Light of European Standards

    In December 2017 and January 2018, the Sejm and Senate, thanks to the votes of the deputies of ruling party Law and Justice, passed hugely controversial law amending inter alia Polish Electoral Code. Its adoption was opposed by the parliamentary opposition, by the electoral administration bodies and by many experts, however unsuccessfully. The enactment of this law destabilises the electoral system without a clear or evident need and treats the electoral code as a political instrument. Secondly, it does not provide the sufficient time for adaptation (vacatio legis), which may jeopardise free and fair local elections and the stability of the political system. Thirdly, the bill contains numerous unclear provisions and is in many parts written in a careless and contradictory way. Such amendments do not correspond with the European standards, described in the Venice Commission’s Code of Good Practice in Electoral Matters.

  • Electoral Issues as the Subject of Petitions Submitted to the Sejm of the Republic of Poland of the Eight Term

    Art. 63 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland of 2 April 1997 provides everyone with the right to submit petitions to state authorities. The procedure for considering petitions is specified by the Act on Petitions of 11 July 2014. According to the law, petitions can, in particular, take the form of a request to amend the law. The aim of the article is to focus on petitions concerning the amendment of electoral law against the background general information on the legal regulations in this regard. In the 8th term of office of the Sejm, which began on 12 November 2015, there were five petitions submitted to the parliament which concerned electoral issues. The petitioners proposed amendments in regard to the manner of electing senators to the Senate of the Republic of Poland and councilors in the communities of up to 100,000 residents, strengthening mechanisms that would counteract “electoral frauds”, electoral thresholds in the elections to the Sejm and mandatory voting.

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