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    Poland Government 2000

      Country name:
      conventional long form: Republic of Poland
      conventional short form: Poland
      local long form: Rzeczpospolita Polska
      local short form: Polska

      Data code: PL

      Government type: republic

      Capital: Warsaw

      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); Independence Day, November 11 (1918)

      Constitution: 16 October 1997; adopted by the National Assembly on 2 April 1997; passed by national referendum 23 May 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 although under the new constitution, the Constitutional Tribunal ruling will become final as of October 1999; 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)
      head of government: Prime Minister Jerzy BUZEK (since 31 October 1997), Deputy Prime Ministers Leszek BALCEROWICZ (since 31 October 1997), Longin KOMOLOWSKI (since 19 October 1999)
      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
      elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election first round held 5 November 1995, second round held 19 November 1995 (next to be held NA November 2000); prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president and confirmed by the Sejm
      election results: Aleksander KWASNIEWSKI elected president; percent of popular vote, second round - Aleksander KWASNIEWSKI 51.7%, Lech WALESA 48.3%

      Legislative branch: bicameral National Assembly or Zgromadzenie Narodowe consists of the Sejm (460 seats; members are elected under a complex system of proportional representation to serve four-year terms) and the Senate or Senat (100 seats; members are elected by a majority vote on a provincial basis to serve four-year terms)
      elections: Sejm elections last held 21 September 1997 (next to be held by NA September 2001); Senate - last held 21 September 1997 (next to be held by NA September 2001)
      election results: Sejm - percent of vote by party - RS-AWS 33.8%, SLD 27.1%, UW 13.4%, PSL 7.3%, ROP 5.6%, MNSO 0.4%, other 12.4%; seats by party - AWS 201, SLD 164, UW 60, PSL 27, ROP 6, MNSO 2; Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - AWS 51, SLD 28, UW 8, ROP 5, PSL 3, independents 5; note - seats by party in the Sejm as of January 2000: AWS 186, SLD 159, UW 60, PSL 26, PP 7, ROP 4, MNSO 2, KPN-O 5, PPS-RLP 3, other 8
      note: two seats are assigned to ethnic minority parties

      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: Center Alliance Party or PC [Antoni TOKARCZUK]; Christian National Union or ZCHN [Marian PILKA]; Confederation for an Independent Poland or KPN [Leszek MOCZULSKI]; Confederation for an Independent Poland-Patriotic Camp or KPN-OP (KPN-Fatherland or KPN-O is a small group within the KPN-OP) [Adam SLOMKA]; Conservative Peasant Party or SKL [Miroslaw STYCZEN]; Democratic Left Alliance or SLD (Social Democracy of Poland) [Leszek MILLER]; Freedom Union or UW [Leszek BALCEROWICZ]; German Minority of Lower Silesia or MNSO [Henryk KROLL]; Labor Party or PP [leader NA]; Labor Union or UP [Marek POL]; Movement of Polish Working People or RLP [leader NA]; Movement for the Reconstruction of Poland or ROP [Jan OLSZEWSKI]; Polish Christian Democrats or PPChD [Antoni TOKARCZUK]; Polish Peasant Party or PSL [Jaroslaw KALINOWSKI]; Polish Socialist Party or PPS [Piotr IKONOWICZ]; Realpolitik Union or UPR [Janusz KORWIN-MIKKE]; Solidarity Electoral Action or AWS (includes RS-AWS and Solidarity) [Marek KOTLARSKI]; Social Movement-Solidarity Electoral Action or RS-AWS [Jerzy BUZEK]
      note: post-Communist - SLD and PSL; post-Solidarity - UW, Freedom Union, ZCHN, PC, PL, RS AWS, UP, and PK; non-Communist, non-Solidarity - ROP, KPN, MN, and UPR

      Political pressure groups and leaders: All Poland Trade Union Alliance or OPZZ (trade union); Roman Catholic Church; Solidarity (trade union)

      International organization participation: Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS, CCC, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EU (applicant), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA (observer), IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, 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, UNIKOM, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNMOP, UNMOT, UNOMIG, UPU, WCL, WEU (associate), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC

      Diplomatic representation in the US:
      chief of mission: Ambassador Jerzy KOZMINSKI
      chancery: 2640 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
      telephone: [1] (202) 234-3800 through 3802
      FAX: [1] (202) 328-6271
      consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York

      Diplomatic representation from the US:
      chief of mission: Ambassador Daniel FRIED
      embassy: Aleje Ujazdowskie 29/31 00-054, Warsaw P1
      mailing address: American Embassy Warsaw, US Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-5010 (pouch)
      telephone: [48] (22) 628-30-41
      FAX: [48] (22) 625-67-31
      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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    Revised 01-Nov-00
    Copyright © 2000 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)


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