Law and Justice deputies submitted to the Sejm a draft resolution on changes to the rules of the chamber. It assumes, inter alia, that the Sejm will vote on the motion to extend the extraordinary state by a simple majority of votes. According to the draft, during the debate, it will also not be possible to submit formal motions to adjourn or close the meeting. The state of emergency is, inter alia, the state of emergency. This is the case in part of Poland near the border with Belarus.
According to the information on the website of the Sejm, on Friday the Chamber received a parliamentary draft resolution on the amendment of the Rules of Procedure of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland. A group of Law and Justice MPs is signed under the bill. The draft – as indicated in the justification – is aimed at adding to the Regulations of the Sejm the provisions on proceedings in cases of extraordinary measures.
Cases considered by the Sejm in the scope of extraordinary measures
The proposed changes assume adding to the Regulations of the Sejm chapter 7a, entitled “Proceedings in cases concerning extraordinary measures”.
In one of the proposed articles – as explained in the explanatory memorandum – “the matters considered by the Sejm in the scope of introducing and prolonging extraordinary measures are indicated”. “The Sejm will consider the President’s regulation on the introduction of martial law and the President’s regulation on the introduction of the state of emergency. The Sejm will also consider the President’s request for consent to the extension of the state of emergency and the request of the Council of Ministers for consent to the extension of the state of natural disaster,” the deputies said.
“Consideration by the Sejm of the regulation on the introduction of the state of emergency, as provided for in the Constitution, will take place immediately after sending the regulation to the Sejm. In the case of a motion to extend the state of extraordinary measures, its examination should take place before the expiry of the period for which the state of extraordinary state was introduced” – added .
A simple majority of votes sufficient for a motion to extend the extraordinary measures
As stated in the explanatory memorandum to the bill, “in accordance with Article 231 of the Constitution, the Sejm will decide on a motion to repeal the ordinance on the introduction of a state of emergency by an absolute majority of votes in the presence of at least half of the statutory number of deputies”.
“With regard to a motion to extend the state of emergency, the Sejm will decide by a simple majority of votes in the presence of at least half of the statutory number of deputies,” we read.
There is no possibility of submitting requests to interrupt, adjourn or close the meeting
It was also indicated that consideration of the regulation on the introduction of a state of emergency or a motion to extend the state of emergency at a session of the Sejm will include presentation of the justification by the authority that issued the regulation or submitted the motion, and then conducting a debate.
“Due to the necessity to immediately consider a regulation or a motion, the debate will exclude the possibility of submitting formal motions to interrupt, adjourn or close a meeting” – states the justification of the draft amendments to the Sejm Regulations.
“If, in the debate on the examination of the regulation on the introduction of a state of emergency, a motion to repeal the regulation is submitted, such motion will be put to the vote. Otherwise, i.e. when the motion to repeal the regulation is not submitted, the Sejm will not vote with introduction of the state of emergency “- we read further.
The justification stated that “at present there are no provisions in the Rules of the Sejm relating to the participation of the Sejm in the process of introducing and prolonging extraordinary measures, which may create problems in the application of the provisions of the Constitution in this respect”.
A state of emergency at the Polish border with Belarus
A state of emergency has been in force since September 2 in the border zone with Belarus, i.e. in part of the Podlaskie and Lubelskie provinces. It covers 183 towns. It was introduced for 30 days under the ordinance of President Andrzej Duda, issued at the request of the Council of Ministers. Government officials justified the need to introduce a state of emergency with the situation on the border with Belarus, where Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s regime is waging a “hybrid war” and the Russian-Belarusian Zapad military exercises taking place in the first half of September.
There are a number of restrictions on civil rights in the area covered by the state of emergency, and the media, for example, are not allowed to work. All information from this area is communicated to the public by official agents.
On Thursday, the head of the Ministry of National Defense, Mariusz Błaszczak, said in the First Program of Polish Radio that the decision to extend the state of emergency has not yet been made, but the migratory pressure on the border has not stopped. The next three-day session of the Sejm is planned on 29 and 30 September and 1 October. The period of the state of emergency in the border zone with Belarus ends on October 1.
State of Emergency Regulations
Article 230 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland provides that in the event of a threat to the constitutional system of the state, the security of citizens or public order, the President of the Republic, at the request of the Council of Ministers, may introduce, for a specified period, not longer than 90 days, a state of emergency in part or throughout the territory of the state. The extension of a state of emergency may take place only once, with the consent of the Sejm, and for a period not longer than 60 days.
Pursuant to Art. 231, the regulation on the introduction of martial law or a state of emergency shall be presented to the Sejm by the President of the Republic within 48 hours of signing the regulation. The Sejm may revoke them by an absolute majority of votes in the presence of at least half of the statutory number of deputies.
In turn, article 232 states that in order to prevent the effects of natural disasters or technical failures bearing the hallmarks of a natural disaster and to remove them, the Council of Ministers may introduce a state of natural disaster for a specified period, not longer than 30 days, in part or throughout the territory of the state. This status may be extended with the consent of the Sejm.
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