The National Electoral Commission held a meeting on Tuesday, one of the topics of which was “the issue of the decisions of the Speaker of the Sejm regarding the expiry of the mandates” of Mariusz Kamiński and Maciej Wąsik. – The discussion will be continued at the next meeting – said Marcin Chmielnicki, spokesman for the National Electoral Office. – They are still carrying out this process. From the Sejm side, everything is done as it should be – commented Szymon Hołownia, Marshal of the Sejm.
A meeting of the National Electoral Commission was held on Tuesday. – The meeting of the National Electoral Commission, which today dealt with, among other things, preparations for elections to municipal councils, county councils and provincial assemblies, and financial reports of political parties. One of the topics of the meeting was also the issue of the decisions of the Speaker of the Sejm regarding the expiry of mandates. The discussion will be continued at the next meeting of the National Electoral Commission, said Marcin Chmielnicki, spokesman for the National Electoral Office.
He added that “the next meeting of the National Electoral Commission will take place no earlier than in a week, but there is no exact date yet.”
Hołownia: everything is on their side, they continue this process
The case was commented on by the Speaker of the Sejm Szymon Hołownia. – What I should have done, I did. At the moment, we talked about it with the chairman (National Election Commission Sylwester – ed.) Marciniak, everything is on their side, they are still carrying out this process. From the Sejm side, everything is done as it should be, he said.
As he added, “if there are 458 MPs, please remember that even in the eighth term of office, during which there were even expired seats, not current MPs, there were also seven seats vacant.”
– Our constitution states very clearly: the statutory number of deputies is 460, but for the Sejm to make important decisions, 231 deputies are needed. A majority is required, with at least half of the statutory number of deputies present. Article 120 of the Constitution leaves no doubt, and the Electoral Code also provides for situations in which a given mandate cannot be filled because, for example, subsequent people appointed to this position do not want to accept the mandate. And then a decision is issued that this mandate will expire until the end of the term, said the Marshal of the Sejm.
The Sejm adopts laws by a simple majority of votes in the presence of at least half of the statutory number of Deputies, unless the Constitution provides for a different majority. The Sejm adopts resolutions in the same manner, unless an act or a resolution of the Sejm provides otherwise.
Wąsik and Kamiński’s mandates
December 20, 2023, District Court in Warsaw sentenced Mariusz Kamiński and Maciej Wąsik legally to two years in prison for abuse of power in connection with the so-called land scandal. Therefore, the Speaker of the Sejm issued decisions on the declaration of expiry of their parliamentary mandates. Kamiński and Wąsik appealed against these decisions, which the Speaker of the Sejm referred to the Chamber of Labor and Social Insurance of the Supreme Court.
However, the judge assigned to the case of Wąsik’s dismissal in the Chamber of Labor issued a decision to transfer the case to the unrecognized Chamber of Extraordinary Control and Public Affairs of the Supreme Court, which overturned the decision of the Speaker of the Sejm to expire Wąsik’s mandate, and a day later the decision to expire Kamiński’s mandate. Both politicians, regardless of their appeals submitted to the Chamber of Labor through the Marshal, also submitted their appeals directly to the Chamber of Control.
The Chamber of Labor and Social Insurance, which received Kamiński’s appeal sent by the Speaker of the Sejm, did not accept it. On the same day, the decision of Marshal Hołownia of December 21 to expire the politician’s parliamentary mandate was announced in Monitor Polski.
The Marshal of the Sejm announced on Tuesday that when it comes to filling the seats left by the MP Mariusz Kamiński, the National Electoral Commission did not send any correspondence. As for the mandate of the MP Maciej Wąsik, it is waiting for complete data from the Supreme Court. He emphasized that he was applying the “precautionary rule” here.
Pursuant to the Electoral Code, the Marshal of the Sejm notifies, on the basis of information from the National Electoral Commission, the next candidate from the same list of candidates who received the highest number of votes in the election, of his or her priority to the mandate, in the event of: the death of a deputy; expiry of the deadline for filing an appeal against the decision of the Speaker of the Sejm on the expiry of the mandate; failure to accept the appeal against the decision of the Speaker of the Sejm on the expiry of the mandate by Supreme Court.
If it would be impossible to fill the mandate of a Member of Parliament due to the lack of candidates to whom the mandate can be assigned, the Marshal of the Sejm, by way of a resolution, declares that the mandate remains vacant until the end of the term.
Kamiński and Wąsik do not recognize the final court judgment and claim that the president’s pardon of politicians in 2015 is valid. They are of the opposite opinion experts, as we wrote about in more detail, among others: in Konkret24.
Main photo source: Piotr Nowak/PAP