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Poland - 2007 Elections

Sejm Seats
Civic Platform (PO) 208
Law and Justice (PiS) 152
Left (Lewica) 44
Polish People’s Party (PSL) 31
Poland XXI 6
SDPL-Nowa Lewica (SDPL-NL) 5
Demokratyczne Koto Poselskie (DKP) 3
Unaffiliated 11
    
Total 460
Senate Seats
Civic Platform (PO) 57
Law and Justice (PiS) 38
Unaffiliated 5
    
Total 100

In 2007 the Constitutional Court declared many provisions of the 1997 "lustration" (vetting) law unconstitutional, which limited its scope but still allowed researchers and journalists to review results of past vetting and investigations. The law is intended to expose officials and individuals now serving in positions of public trust who may have collaborated with Communist-era secret police. Under the law the National Institute of Public Remembrance could vet an estimated 700,000 persons.

The [some said ridiculous] government with the populists, the Self-Defence and Polish Families parties led by Andrzej Lepper and Roman Giertych respectively, wobbled along for a year or so then collapsed, prompting the 2007 elections. Parliamentary elections were held on October 21, 2007. Parties represented in the Sejm are Civic Platform (PO), Law and Justice (PiS), the Polish People's Party (PSL), the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD), Social Democracy of Poland (SDPL), Poland XXI, and the Democratic Party (PD). Following these elections the Civic Platform (PO) party received 41.5 percent of the vote, the Law and Justice (PiS) party received 32.1 percent of the vote, the Left (Lewica) party received 13.2 percent of the vote and the Polish People's Party (PSL) received 8.9 percent of the vote. The Samoobrona "Self-Defence" party and the Polish Families League (LPR) did not reach the threshold level of votes required for entry of a political party to the Parliament.

Following the 2007 parliamentary elections, OSCE/ODIHR concluded that the elections demonstrated a democratic and pluralistic electoral process, founded on a high level of public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the electoral administration. The authorities followed up on a number of OSCE/ODIHRs previous recommendations, including with regard to providing access for international observers to all stages of the electoral process and certain measures that may increase the participation of women in the electoral process. Recommendations that pertain to minimizing governmental influence on the composition of the National Broadcasting for a possibility of domestic non-partisan observation Council (NBC) and providing remained unaddressed.

Donald Tusk became Prime Minister in November 2007 after the Civic Platform and the Polish People's Party formed a governing coalition. Tusk became the Prime Minister and Waldemar Pawlak, a leader in the Polish People's Party, became the Deputy Prime Minister. Representatives of the Civic Platform have been appointed as head of most government ministries with the exception of the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, which are headed by representatives of the Polish People's Party.

As president, Lech Kaczynski played an active role in boosting Poland's eastern policy. He strongly supported NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine and was a vocal critic of the Kremlin. To demonstrate his solidarity with Georgia when the country was fighting a bitter war with Russia in 2008, he flew to Tbilisi to offer his support and assistance. Such positions would often land him in trouble with some European Union leaders, who feared antagonizing Russia.



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