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Poland: Country and Foreign Investment

Government and Legal Structure

The Polish capital is Warsaw, and the country is divided into 16 administrative provinces.

The President is the head of state, and is elected by popular vote for a five-year term (although a second term is possible). Since August 2010, the Polish President has been Bronislaw Komorowski. The Prime Minister is head of government, and is appointed by the President; since November 2007, this role has been occupied by Donald Tusk since 16 November 2007. The Council of Ministers is proposed by the Prime Minister, appointed by the President, and approved by the Sejm.

There is a bicameral (two-chambered) legislature; the National Assembly (Zgromadzenie Narodowe) consists of the Senat (upper house) of 100 seats (to which members are elected by a majority vote on a provincial basis, and serve four-year terms), and the Sejm (lower house), comprising 460 seats (and to which members are elected under a proportional representation systemto serve four-year terms).

At the last elections, in October 2011, the percentage of vote by party for the Sejm was PO 39.2%, PiS 29.9%, RD 10%, PSL 8.4%, SLD 8.2% other 4.3%.

The legal system is based on a mixture of Continental (Napoleonic) civil law and some of the legacy Communist legal system, although changes have been made to this as part of the ongoing democratisation project.

Key legal institutions in Poland include the Supreme Court of Poland (Sad Najwyzszy); the Supreme Administrative Court of Poland (Naczelny Sad Administracyjny); the Constitutional Tribunal of Poland (Trybunal Konstytucyjny); and the State Tribunal of Poland (Trybunal Stanu).

Limited judicial review of legislative acts is permitted, however, rulings of the Constitutional Tribunal are final. Court decisions, meanwhile, can be appealed to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

The appointment of Supreme Court judges (for an indefinite period) is undertaken by the President, taking into account the recommendation of the National Council of the Judiciary. Constitutional Tribunal judges, meanwhile, are chosen by the Sejm, and are appointed for terms of nine-years.



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