Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland

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The Prime Minister of Poland (Polish: Prezes Rady Ministrów) heads the Polish Council of Ministers (the Cabinet) and directs their work, supervises territorial self-government within the guidelines and in ways described in the Constitution and other legislation, and acts as the superior for all government administration workers (heading the public service corps).

Contents

Overview

The full name of the office is the "Chairman of the Council of Ministers" (in Polish Prezes Rady Ministrów), but this version is very rarely used in English. In Polish the office is usually called Premier. Until 1922, the Prime Minister was called "President of the Ministers" (Prezydent Ministrów).

At the same time, the Prime Minister may fulfil the duties of a department head or a committee chairman. The Prime Minister may also be a Representative at the Sejm of the Republic of Poland. He cannot, however, hold the post of the President of the RP or any other high state office such as the Chairman of the NIK (Supreme Chamber of Control), Chairman of the NBP (National Bank of Poland) or a Civil Rights Spokesman (Ombudsman).

Designated Prime Minister is free to select his co-workers - members of the Council of Ministers. The cabinet he selects must be approved by the Sejm by granting him the vote of confidence. Ministerial nominations are signed and handed out by the President of Poland.

The Prime Minister and his ministers take the following pledge before the President of the RP: "Accepting the post of the Prime Minister I solemnly swear that I will faithfully follow the articles of the Constitution and other laws of the Republic of Poland, as well as the good of the Fatherland, and for me the well-being of its citizens will always be the supreme directive." The pledge may be finished with the words "So help me God."

Because of Poland's proportional representation system, Prime Ministers often rule with the support of a coalition of parties. These coalitions can collapse over political disagreements, causing the average term in office of a Polish Prime Minister to be rather short (typically around 18 months). Since the full restoration of democracy in 1991, only one man, Jerzy Buzek, has served a full four-year term as Prime Minister. Other Prime Ministers have been forced to early resignation, as a result of a loss of confidence, political scandals or defeats at early elections.

The Sejm grants the Council of Ministers vote of no confidence by a majority vote of the statutory number of Representatives at the motion put forward by at least 46 Representatives and naming a new candidate to the post of the Prime Minister (so called constructive vote of no confidence). Such motion can be put to vote not earlier than 7 days after it has been proposed. Second motion can be presented not earlier than three months from the date of submission of the prior motion. Second motion can be submitted before the period of three months expires if it is presented by at least 115 Representatives.

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