For the first time, a new Sejm. According to the regulations, the proceedings will be opened by a senior marshal appointed by the president. Andrzej Duda decided that none of the oldest PiS MPs would be elected. He did not choose Antoni Macierewicz (75), who inaugurated the previous term of office of the Sejm in 2019. He also did not indicate Jarosław Kaczyński (74 years old), Ryszard Terlecki (74 years old) or Marek Kuchciński (68 years old). The session of the Sejm of the 10th term will open Marek Sawicki, 65-year-old PSL MPwho had previously determined where the MPs were to sit.
President’s speech. What will he say?
After the senior marshal, the Polish anthem will be played, and then the president will deliver a speech. In 2015, Bronisław Komorowski focused on the state of the country and challenges for Poland, and then he lost the election. In 2019, Andrzej Duda ended his speech with the words: “We should do everything to minimize these disputes, especially within the family. Sometimes they say: The fish rots from the head. The head is here.” And then he thanked President Aleksander Kaczyński for his presence. Everyone assessed it as the beginning of the election campaign, which he won again. We will find out what Andrzej Duda will say this time on Monday just after 12 p.m.
— The president will certainly talk about important issues related to strategic decisionswhich are decided when it comes to the security of Poland and Poles – announced Piotr Ćwik, deputy head of the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland on TVP.
Then the senior marshal will speak and will also proceed to elect temporary secretaries.
Solemn oath. Will Sawicki behave like Macierewicz?
The next point of the ceremonial inauguration is the oath. 117 out of 460 MPs will make their debut on the Sejm benches, 27 will return after the break.
Marek Sawicki will read the rote:
I solemnly vow to honestly and conscientiously perform my duties towards the Nation, protect the sovereignty and interests of the State, do everything for the prosperity of the Homeland and the good of its citizens, and obey the Constitution and other laws of the Republic of Poland.
Then, each person elected as a deputy, after reading out his name by the secretary, will stand up from his seat in the parliamentary benches and say the word “I pledge”, possibly with the addition of the sentence: “So help me God.”
In 2015, Senior Marshal Antoni Macierewicz said these words right after the ceremony, causing a stir in the hall.
Election of the Speaker of the Sejm. What does the law say?
After the oath, a break is usually announced. It’s time to collect ballots and nominate candidates for Speaker of the Sejm. Candidates for this position are nominated by groups composed of at least 15 MPs. After the resumption of the meeting, each of the parliamentary clubs will be able to speak, and then the first vote will take place, i.e. the election of the marshal. The election requires an absolute majority of votes in the presence of at least half of the statutory number of deputies. With all MPs present, a candidate for marshal must obtain at least 231 votes. The future ruling coalition has this majority.
However, if more than one candidate is nominated and none of them receives an absolute majority of votes in the first ballot, further rounds of voting are held. Before the next rounds of voting, the name of the candidate who obtained the lowest number of votes in the previous round is removed from the list of candidates. If at least two candidates receive the same minimum number of votes, their names are all removed before the next round of voting.
Marshal of the Sejm. Can this feature be rotated?
As is already known after signing the coalition agreement, the function of marshal is to be rotational, which is to ensure the durability of the agreement between the parties. The Coalition’s candidates will be Szymon Hołownia from November 13, 2023 to November 13, 2025, and then Włodzimierz Czarzasty until the end of the term. And here the first doubt arises.
So far, the marshal’s function has not been divided into terms of office. Article 110 of the Constitution states that the Sejm elects the Speaker of the Sejm and deputy speakers from among its members. There is nothing about the term of office, nor do the regulations of the Sejm. The regulations only state that the Sejm dismisses the Marshal upon a motion submitted by at least 46 Deputies and naming the candidate. Moreover, the marshal may resign from the function himself. Therefore, if the marshal is not dismissed during the term of office, he or she holds office for 4 years.
As Robert Horbaczewski writes in Praw.pl, constitutionalists are divided as to their assessment of such a solution.
Prof. Ryszard Piotrowski, a constitutionalist, believes that it will perpetuate partisanship. — The Marshal is supposed to be a person of public trust, to guard the rights of the Sejm, political pluralism, and also the rights of the parliamentary opposition, and not to be a spokesman for a party or coalition of parties, as was unfortunately the case during the current term of office of the Sejm. The rotation of the marshal’s position by two parties perpetuates the subordination of law to politics, instead of changing it, argues Prof. Piotrowski.
Prof. Sławomir Patyra from the Department of Constitutional Law, Faculty of Law and Administration, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin, points out that from the point of view of the rules of procedure of the Sejm, this is an acceptable solution. And Ph.D. Grzegorz Makowski, lecturer at the Warsaw School of Economics, expert of the Foundation. Stefan Batory believes that the rotation of marshals is not a bad thing, provided that the coalition partners get along. And he points out that rotating marshals are in the European Parliament and no one was tearing their hair out because of it.
As a result, the Sejm should elect one marshal on Monday, and only after his dismissal or resignation, another one.
Senior Marshal. Can it function for more than a few hours?
When the Sejm elects Szymon Hołownia, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the Sejm, the senior marshal will give him his seat and this will end his mission. Is another scenario possible?
In 2005, Józef Zych served as senior marshal for more than a week. Members submitted a formal request, as provided for in the rules of procedure, to postpone the inaugural meeting, which was supported. It was the result of a dispute between the would-be coalition partners, i.e. PiS (it was the largest party at that time) and PO, over who should become the Speaker of the Sejm. Jarosław Kaczyński agreed to be the Platform’s candidate, but he did not want Bronisław Komorowski to take this position. Finally, after a week, PiS MP Marek Jurek became the Speaker of the Sejm.
Deputy Speakers of the Sejm. Should they be from every parliamentary club?
The next point should be establishing the number of deputy marshals and their election. The dispute here is whether the Confederation should have a deputy marshal.
In the Sejm, which is ending its term, the deputy speakers were: Ryszard Terlecki (PiS), Małgorzata Gosiewska (PiS), Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska (Civic Coalition), Włodzimierz Czarzasty (Left Wing) and Piotr Zgorzelski (Polish Coalition – PSL). The eleven-member Confederation group did not have a representative in the Sejm presidium. In the 10th term of the Sejm, the Confederation already has 18 MPs and is creating a club. According to custom, only parliamentary clubs have their own deputy marshals, but officially there is no such requirement. There were reports in the media that there were to be five deputy marshals in the new Sejm. However, the Civic Coalition is to have two positions, Trzecia Droga (PSL and Szymon Hołownia’s Polska 2050), the Left and PiS – one each, and Confederation – none.
16 members are also elected at the first meeting State Tribunal. He is the one who is supposed to hold PiS politicians holding public offices accountable for violating the Constitution and laws.
The rest of the article is below the video
Government resignation. Does it have to take place in the Sejm?
First of all, in accordance with Art. 162 of the Constitution, at the first meeting, the Prime Minister submits the resignation of the Council of Ministers. — This is a constitutional requirement. The form is already to be determined. This may be in the form of a speech at the first session of the Sejm, but it does not have to be. The Prime Minister may also submit his resignation in another place, e.g. at the Presidential Palace – says constitutionalist prof. Ryszard Piotrowski. By accepting her, the President entrusts her with continuing to perform her duties until a new Council of Ministers is appointed.
Mateusz Morawiecki may, but does not have to, appear in the Sejm. Prof. Piotrowski reminds that the Prime Minister In 2001, Jerzy Buzek resigned on the first day of the first inaugural session of the Sejm. “Four years is a short period in the life of a nation, but a long period in the history of Poland. They were important years for Poland. Poland is a NATO member, we are preparing for EU membership,” said Prime Minister Buzek. His government then sent a package of 30 so-called projects to the Sejm. European laws that completed the process of adapting Polish law to European standards. What Mateusz Morawiecki will do is not known yet. Maybe when Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz submitted his resignation to the president in 1997? Although in 2019, Mateusz Morawiecki resigned on November 13, i.e. the first day of the inaugural meeting, and delivered a summary. “If I were to sum up four years of the rule of Law and Justice, the rule of the United Right, in one sentence, I would say this: there is no freedom without dignity,” he began. We’ll see what he does this time on Monday.
In 2019, six days after submitting his resignation, on November 19, Morawiecki delivered an exposé and received a vote of confidence. Theoretically, this scenario could happen again. President Andrzej Duda will entrust him with the mission of creating a new government. There may be a problem with gathering the required majority (231 votes). Officially, PiS has 194 seats, which means it is 37 votes short. Morawiecki can therefore appear in the Sejm with an exposé, but not get a vote. However, we will find out about this on Monday, December 11 at the latest. However, it can be expected that the Sejm will choose a new prime minister.
Author: Jolanta Ojczyk, head of the Legal Department of Business Insider Polska