Even though the Civic Coalition, Third Road and New Left declare their willingness to form a joint government coalition headed by Donald Tusk, President Andrzej Duda decided to entrust the mission of forming the government to Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. The Constitution provides for three possible steps to electing the Council of Ministers. We present the procedure and calendar.
Pursuant to Art. 109 section 2. of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, the first session of the Sejm and Senate after elections convened by the president on a day falling within 30 days of the election day. The president convened it for November 13. This is the penultimate possible day.
Step one: the president designates the prime minister and appoints the government
The president is also obliged to designate the prime minister, who will assemble the government and propose the composition of the new Council of Ministers. Pursuant to Art. 154. paragraph 1 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, the president appoints the prime minister and the government within 14 days from the date of the first sitting of the Sejm or the acceptance of the resignation of the previous Council of Ministers and takes the oath from the members of the newly appointed Council of Ministers. Within the next 14 days, the new Prime Minister presents the government’s program of activities (exposé) to the Sejm along with a motion for a vote of confidence.
The Prime Minister would then have time to December 11 to present an exposè and obtain a vote of confidence in his government. The Sejm adopts them by an absolute majority of votes (i.e. more “for” than “against” and abstentions) in the presence of at least half of the statutory number of Deputies.
Step two: The Sejm elects the prime minister and government
However, if newly established the Council of Ministers does not gain the trust of MPs, then they will take the initiative to form a new government. It is in this step that a representative of the parliamentary majority may have a chance to become prime minister, which, according to the joint declaration of KO, Third Way and New Left, is Donald Tusk.
Maximum up to 25th of December MPs in the Sejm would choose the composition of the government.
The candidate for the Prime Minister is then proposed by a group of at least 46 MPs, and his/her appointment requires an absolute majority of votes in the presence of at least half of the statutory number of MPs. The president cannot refuse to appoint and swear in the elected government.
Step three: The president appoints the prime minister and government. Only a simple majority is needed for a vote of confidence
However, if the candidate for prime minister indicated by the Sejm does not receive an absolute majority of votes, the initiative returns to the president, who within 14 days appoints the prime minister and the government at his request and takes their oath.
The president would have to announce his decision by January 8. A vote on this matter would take place at the latest January 22.
In this case, a simple majority of votes (more “for” than “against”, excluding abstentions) in the Sejm in the presence of at least half of the statutory number of Deputies is sufficient to grant a vote of confidence.
If this third step does not result in the formation of a government, the president orders new elections. Then most likely spring Poles would go to vote again.
Main photo source: Albert Zawada/PAP