In this year’s elections, five election committees introduced representatives of 17 political parties to the Sejm – according to an analysis of the distribution of seats. Two coalition electoral committees were registered, and representatives of nine parties entered the Sejm from the lists of the remaining three committees. Not all of them will be entitled to receive money from the state budget for their activities.
On October 21, Jarosław Sellin, deputy minister of culture and PiS MP, drew attention to the issue of the number of political parties in the newly elected Sejm. “I would like to point out that not three political circles, but 10 political parties had to organize themselves into three coalition committees in order to actually have, if calculated arithmetically, more votes than us and agree to co-govern,” Sellin said in the radio program “Breakfast.” w Trójka” on Polish Radio Program III. His statement is imprecise when it comes to the number of coalition committees; The PiS politician also omitted the number of political parties on the right side of the political scene, which may also affect the appointment of certain positions in the Sejm.
Five committees, two coalitions
As a result of the elections on October 15, candidates who were on the electoral lists of five committees entered the Sejm. Formally, there were two coalition committees, not three, as Deputy Minister Sellin said: the Coalition Electoral Committee of the Civic Coalition PO .N IPL Zieloni and the Coalition Election Committee Trzecia Droga Polska 2050 of Szymon Hołownia – Polish People’s Party. In total, both coalitions introduced representatives of eight parties to the Sejm. The electoral coalition, however, was not the New Left Electoral Committee, although representatives of two parties entered the Sejm from its list. In total, the still informal parliamentary coalition of democratic parties consists of representatives of 10 political parties.
Law and Justice was also not a formal electoral coalition, but representatives of four parties entered the Sejm from the lists of its electoral committee; similarly, the Konfederacja Wolność i Niepodległości Electoral Committee was not a coalition – representatives of three parties were selected from its lists.
Members of 17 parties in the Sejm
So what is the division of seats among individual parties? We provide numbers according to what appears in lists of the National Electoral Commission (PKW), where the names of candidates for MPs include information about their party affiliation.
PiS list – 194 MPs elected:
Law and Justice – 157; Sovereign Poland – 18; Republican Party – 4; Kukiz15 – 2; non-partisan – 13.
List of the Civic Coalition – 157 MPs elected:
Civic Platform – 122; Modern – 6; Polish Initiative – 3; Greens – 3; Agrounia Tak Social Movement – 1; non-partisan – 22;
Third Way List – 65 MPs elected:
Szymon Hołownia’s Poland 2050 – 31; Polish People’s Party – 27; Center for Poland – 3; non-partisan – 4.
List of the New Left – 26 MPs elected:
New Left – 19; Left Together – 7.
List of the Freedom and Independence Confederation – 18 MPs elected:
Confederation of Freedom and Independence – 7; Konfederacja New Hope – 6; Confederation of the Polish Crown – 2; non-partisan – 3.
In the 2019 elections, 17 political parties also entered the Sejm. For example, when it comes to the largest political parties, compared to the results from four years ago, PiS lost 30 seats, PO gained 20, and PSL gained eight; The New Left (formerly SLD) lost four seats, while Sovereign Poland (formerly Solidarna Polska) did not gain from these elections – just like four years ago, it has 18 MPs.
Record budget subsidies
For appointing deputies to the Sejm, political parties are entitled to subsidies for election campaign expenses and an annual subsidy until the end of the new term. Of the 17 political parties that got into the Sejm, ten will receive money from the state budget.
The provisions of the Electoral Code and the Act on Political Parties state that only in the case of a coalition electoral committee (if it exceeds the six percent electoral threshold), all coalition participants will receive money from the budget, in the proportions specified in the coalition agreement, registered by the National Electoral Commission. Therefore, the following parties forming two electoral coalitions should receive a subsidy for current activities: Civic Platform, Nowoczesna, Inicjatywa Polska, The Greens, Agrounia Tak Social Movement, Szymon Hołownia’s Poland 2050, PSL, Center for Poland.
Just like four years ago, PiS will receive budget money – neither Sovereign Poland nor the Republican Party will receive it, because they have not formed an electoral coalition with Law and Justice. PiS cannot transfer part of its subsidy to the parties of Zbigniew Ziobro or Adam Bielan, because this would be a violation of the Political Parties Act, which prohibits financing another party. This also applies to the New Left and the Confederation.
Payments of annual subsidies to political parties will be record-breaking, due to the high turnout in the elections. The party subsidy is calculated, as stipulated in the Act on Political Parties, according to a special formula “in proportion to the total number of valid votes cast for the district lists of candidates for deputies of this party or electoral coalition.”
According to the daily “Republic” annually, PiS would receive almost PLN 26 million in the new term of office of the Sejm, KO – PLN 25.1 million, Trzecia Droga – PLN 15.1 million (PSL and Polska 2050 will be divided in half, in accordance with the coalition agreement), Nowa Lewica – 9 PLN .8 million, Confederation – PLN 8.4 million. These are unofficial calculations of “Rzeczpospolita”. The National Electoral Commission has not yet published information “on the expected annual amount of subsidies available to political parties.”
Parties and committees taking part in the elections and obtaining mandates of MPs and senators also have the right to the so-called subjective subsidy – i.e. to reimburse the expenses incurred for the election campaign. As stated in the Electoral Code, “the subjective subsidy is only available up to the amount of expenses shown in the financial report.”
Main photo source: Rafał Guz/PAP