Polish government plans to "change" constitution

By bne IntelliNews May 3, 2016

The chairman of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS), Jaroslaw Kaczynski, said on May 2 that the party plans to change the constitution next year, although he offered no details.

Next year’s 20th anniversary of enacting the Polish constitution is a good opportunity to review and change the fundamental legislation, Kacynski, whose elected office is that of a backbench MP. PiS has whipped up huge controversy home and abroad with its rush to consolidate power since it won elections in October.

However, while the party enjoys an outright majority in both houses of the Polish parliament, and a friendly president, it is 72 MPs short of a constitutional majority in the lower house - the Sejm. Analysts believe PiS may try to single out MPs from the weakening anti-establishment movement Kukiz’15 and the Polish Peasants Party to persuade them to support the effort.

Kaczynski – seen as most powerful man in Poland, well ahead of the prime minister or the president, despite his lowly official status – has long hinted that changing the constitution is one of PiS’ major goals. He did not give any particulars, but the government's standoff with the Constitutional Tribunal (TK) suggests he could have a shot at reducing the court's importance. In 2010, PiS also wrote a proposal to change the constitution to give the president greater powers, but the party has kept quiet about that idea since. 

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