Poland: President presents plan for referendum on new constitution
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    Poland: President presents plan for referendum on new constitution

    © Belga
    © Belga

    Polish President Andrzej Duda on Friday presented a plan for a referendum that would include questions on whether Poland’s membership of the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) should be enshrined in a new constitution. Duda presented to the Polish parliament the 10 questions to be included in the proposed referendum, which would take place on the 10th and 11th of November with a view to drafting a new constitution to replace the current 1997 one.

    The president wishes first to ask the people of Poland whether or not they are in favour of a new constitution.

    The remaining questions relate to issues such as references to the “Christian roots of the State, culture and identity of the Polish people,” a possible change in the allocation of powers to the president and the government, and the introduction of a first-past-the-post system for legislative elections.

    Other questions have to do with the inclusion in the country’s magna carta of practical issues such as the retirement age, family allowances or “protecting Polish agriculture and food security”.

    The conservative Justice and Peace (PiS) party, which came to power in 2015, is very critical of the constitution adopted after the fall of Communism in Poland, which, it says, was written by post-Communists and liberal centrists.

    However, writing a new constitution is a personal initiative of the president who, although close to the conservative party, has not yet received its support.

    PiS officials have publicly pointed to the difficulty of organising a referendum on the 100th anniversary of Poland, which is the 11th of November.

    By law, the Senate is the institution that needs to rule on the president’s proposal, which it could do early next week.

    Christopher Vincent
    The Brussels Times