The President of the Republic of Poland is the head of state, the supreme representative of Poland in the international arena. He has executive authority. He has a right to dissolve the parliament in certain cases (e.g. when it fails to form a Council of Ministers or to adopt the budget).
Following the 1989 amendments to the constitution which restored the presidency,Wojciech Jaruzelski, the existing head of state, took office. In Poland's first direct presidential election, Lech Wałęsa won and was sworn in on 22 December 1990. The office of the president was continued in the Constitution of 1997, which now provides the requirements for, the duties of and the authority of the office.
The President of Poland is elected directly by the people to serve for five years and can be reelected only once. Pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution, the President is elected by an absolute majority. If no candidate succeeds in passing this threshold, a second round of voting is held with the participation of the two candidates with the largest and second largest number of votes respectively.
In order to be registered as a candidate in the presidential election, one must be a Polish citizen, be at least 35 years old on the day of the first round of the election and collect at least 100,000 signatures of registered voters.
The President has a free choice in selecting the Prime Minister, yet in practice he usually gives the task of forming a new government to a politician supported by the political party with the majority of seats in the Sejm (usually, though not always, it is the leader of that political party).
The President has the right to initiate the legislative process. He also has the opportunity to directly influence it by using his veto to stop a bill; however, his veto can be overruled by a three-fifths majority vote in the presence of at least half of the statutory number of members of the Sejm (230). Before signing a bill into law, the President can also ask the Constitutional Tribunal to verify its compliance with the Constitution, which in practice bears a decisive influence on the legislative process.
In his role as supreme representative of the Polish state, the President has power to ratify and revoke international agreements, nominates and recalls ambassadors, and formally accepts the accreditations of representatives of other states. The President also makes decisions on award of highest academic titles, as well as state distinctions and orders. In addition, he has the right of clemency, viz. he can dismiss final court verdicts (in practice, the President consults such decisions with the Minister of Justice).
The President is also the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces; he appoints the Chief of the General Staff and the commanders of all of the service branches; in wartime he nominates the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and can order a general mobilization. The President performs his duties with the help of the following offices: the Chancellery of the President, the Office of National Security, and the Body of Advisors to the President.
Belweder Castle, in Warsaw, was the official seat of the President until 1993, and is currently owned by the Office of the President as the official residence of the President and is used by the President and the Government for ceremonial purposes. The palace also serves as an official residence for heads of state on official visits to Poland and other important guests.
Presidential Castle in Wisła in a château built for the Habsburgs as their hunting cottage, which was rebuilt between 1929-1931 and used as recreational residence by President Ignacy Mościcki. Since 2002 it is again a property of the President, restored and opened in 2005 by the President Aleksander Kwaśniewski. It is today a recreational and conference centre for the President and a hotel.
Residence of the President of the Republic of Poland in Łucień.
Manor House of the President of the Republic of Poland in Ciechocinek.
Presidential Residence 'Jurata-Hel' in Hel. The president's Baltic coastal retreat.
The constitution states that the President is an elected office, there is no directly elected presidential line of succession. If the President is unable to execute his/her powers and duties, the Marshal of the Sejm will have the powers of a President for a maximum of 60 days until elections are called.
On 10 April 2010 a plane carrying Polish President Lech Kaczyński, his wife, and 94 others including many Polish officials crashed near Smolensk-North Airport in Russia. There were no survivors.Bronisław Komorowski took over acting presidential powers following the incident. On 8 July Bronislaw Komorowski resigned from marshal power after winning the presidential election. According to the constitution, the acting president then became the Marshal of the Senate, Bogdan Borusewicz. In the afternoon Grzegorz Schetyna was elected as a new Marshal of the Sejm and he became acting president. Schetyna served as the interim head of state until Komorowski's swearing-in on 6 August.
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↑Jędrzejewicz, Wacław, ed. (1946). Poland in the British Parliament 1939–1945 Volume I: British guarantees to Poland to the Atlantic Charter (March 1939 – August 1941). New York: Jósef Piłsudski Institute of America for Research in the Modern History of Poland. p. 318. Template:Citation/identifier.
↑Simons, William B. (1980). "Constitution of the Polish People's Republic". In Simons, William B.. The Constitutions of the Communist World. Alphen ann den Rijn, the Netherlands: Sijthoff & Noordhoff. pp. 288–310. Template:Citation/identifier.