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NUMERO 21 - 11/11/2015

 Elections in Poland: the legal framework and the political landscape

The main purpose of this article is to analyse the Polish electoral system, and how it has contributed to shaping the overall political system. Section 2 below provides a historical overview of the evolution of the political scenario, while Section 3 provides an in-depth analysis of the constitutional and legislative framework governing parliamentary and presidential elections. The electoral system will be considered in tandem with the political system, and in particular in conjunction with the party system (para. 4). This paper examines the general provisions regulating political parties (which remain among the core issues of the political debate), and the actual configuration of the current party system. From a wider perspective, the ‘mechanisms of representation’ in Poland has demonstrated itself capable of supporting the successful completion of the country’s transition to democracy. This analysis aims to produce a theoretical framework in order to understand major changes in the resulting political scenario, and to identify the key elements of continuity and discontinuity. The rapid sequence of electoral cycles in the last two years is undoubtedly of significant interest to researchers and an important indicator of the political climate. Following the expected victory of the governing party, Civic Platform, in the May 2014 European elections and a narrow victory in the administrative elections of November 2014, the governing party’s era - which commenced in 2007 - was surprisingly derailed in the 2015 Presidential elections. Indeed, the Freedom and Justice party candidate, Adrzej Duda, achieved a landslide victory over the Civic Platform candidate Bronislaw Komorowski. On October 25, 2015, the Law and Justice party consolidated this result with a landslide victory in the parliamentary elections... (segue)

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