The Sejm adopted changes to the Rules of Procedure of the Sejm. Now a special device will be used to count votes when electing the Prime Minister. The Sejm elects the Prime Minister in the so-called the second constitutional step “on general principles”, i.e. voting will, as a rule, take place by a show of hands with the simultaneous use of a vote counting device. The second change in the Rules of Procedure of the Sejm is intended to streamline the work of the Finance Committee on the state budget.
According to the applicants, the second change to the Rules of Procedure of the Sejm is intended to streamline the work of the Finance Committee on the state budget. According to the changes, if the relevant committee fails to present its position to the public finance committee within the specified deadline, this does not suspend further work of the public finance committee.
The justification states that the Presidium of the Sejm sets the deadline for submitting positions containing conclusions, opinions or proposed amendments together with justification to the Sejm committees to which individual parts of the budget have been directed. The applicable provisions do not regulate the consequences of failure of these committees to submit their positions on time.
In Thursday’s vote, 244 deputies voted in favor of changes to the Rules of Procedure of the Sejm, 203 were against and no one abstained. The amendments were not supported PiS MPs and the Confederation.
Moving away from “archaic roll-call voting”
During Wednesday’s debate, Deputy Marshal Monika Wielichowska (KO) announced that the project involves… choice In the second constitutional step, the Prime Minister will move away from the “archaic roll-call vote, which involves MPs throwing slips of paper signed with their name and surname into the ballot box.”
Jarosław Urbaniak (KO) emphasized that the proposed changes to the Rules of Procedure of the Sejm eliminate one of the most archaic provisions that were inadvertently “stuck” in the Rules of Procedure, i.e. the method of roll-call voting on the election of the Prime Minister in the so-called second constitutional step.
Kazimierz Smoliński (PiS) criticized primarily the change in the work of the Finance Committee on the state budget. According to him, this is a clear reduction in the quality of work on the state finances and a gross reduction in the quality of the Sejm’s work on the state budget.
The proposed changes in the area of the committee’s work on the budget were also criticized by Michał Wawer (Confederation). He argued that parliamentary committees “actually do not have to work, the public finance committee will ‘handle’ the budget itself, there is no need for other committees to add or supplement anything.”
The Sejm rejected Smoliński’s amendments to the Rules of Procedure of the Sejm
On Thursday, the Sejm rejected Kazimierz Smoliński’s amendments to the draft changes to the Rules of Procedure of the Sejm. – We propose introducing an obligation for all parliamentary clubs and groups to submit declarations when granting or refusing support to the Council of Ministers – said Smoliński on Wednesday. He added that it is also about the opportunity to ask questions to the Prime Minister and members of the Council of Ministers.
Smoliński also announced that the amendments propose introducing the possibility for the Speaker of the Sejm to give the floor – out of turn – to the chairman of the club, with a limit to one speech on each item of the agenda. – Moreover, we want to replace the current current information and questions on current matters with a solution in the form of questions to the Prime Minister and members of the Council of Ministers – he added.
The Confederation demanded the liquidation of the “sejm freezer”, which, according to them, was promised by the Marshal of the Sejm Szymon Hołownia. In the rejected amendment, the Confederation proposed that “the first reading of a draft act or resolution should take place no later than 6 months from the date of submission of the draft act or resolution in writing to the Speaker of the Sejm.”
Main photo source: PAP/Tomasz Gzell