Acting President of Poland

Acting President Of Poland

The acting President of the Republic of Poland (Polish: pełniący obowiązki prezydenta Rzeczpospolitej Polskiej, or p.o. prezydenta RP) is a temporary post provided for by the Polish Constitution.

The constitution states that the President is the Head of state. If the President dies, resigns, is removed from office or unable to execute his/her powers and duties, a predetermined person will assume the powers and duties as acting President.

In the incapacity scenario, the acting President is just a temporary deputy. In the case of a vacancy, however, he becomes the head of state until the next election, albeit without the title of President, and retaining his previous office. In either case, all the powers of the President devolve to the acting President, with the exception of the right to dissolve the Parliament.

The first person in line to become acting President is the Marshal of the Sejm. Should he be unable to serve, the next is the Marshal of the Senate. This order of precedence has been in effect since the creation of the Office of President, with the exception of the period 1935-1939, when the order was reversed.

To date four people have served as acting President: Maciej Rataj who did so twice, Bronisław Komorowski, Bogdan Borusewicz and Grzegorz Schetyna. Rataj, Komorowski and Schetyna were Marshals of the Sejm, and Borusewicz the Speaker of the Senate. Rataj's first term was between the assassination of President Gabriel Narutowicz and the election of Stanisław Wojciechowski, December 16–22, 1922, the second between the resignation of President Wojciechowski and the election of Ignacy Mościcki, May 15–June 4, 1926. Both times he appointed a new cabinet. Komorowski became acting President on April 10, 2010, following the death of President Lech Kaczyński in a plane crash. On July 8, 2010 Poland had three different acting Presidents. Komorowski (having won the new presidential elections) resigned as Speaker of the Sejm in the morning, and Borusewicz, who served as the speaker of the Senate took over as acting president for several hours, until Schetyna was confirmed as new Speaker of the Sejm and the new acting president.

During the period of communist rule, two Sejm Marshals served very briefly as Presidents pro tempore of the State National Council:

  • Franciszek Trąbalski (February 4, 1947 - Sejm Marshal pro tempore due to seniority)
  • Władysław Kowalski (February 4–5, 1947 - elected Sejm Marshal)

Read more about Acting President Of Poland:  Constitutional Provisions On Acting Presidency

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