Draft Constitution includes diaspora in Senate: speaker

Stanisław Karczewski, the Speaker of Polish Senate. Photo: PAP/Piotr Nowak

Stanisław Karczewski, the speaker of Polish Senate, the upper house of parliament, said in an interview with Polish public radio that a draft of a change of the constitution is ready, which will allow two senators from the international Polish diaspora to be elected to the upper house.

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“We have a draft of an amendment to the constitution, but as it concerns the Senate, our party [the ruling Law and Justice - ed.] has decided to present it as an initiative of Senators. We will work on it quickly, this year. We will encourage the opposition to support this change. I think that during the centenary of independence we can show that we can do something together,” Mr Karczewski said.

The speaker of Senate added that one of these senators will be “from outside the eastern border and another from outside the western,” and said that the proposal is still a draft and not yet set in stone.

Mr Karczewski said that the draft is “a gesture to the Polish community, which also contributed to the country regaining its independence.”

Currently, the Polish community abroad votes for a senator running in one of the constituencies in Warsaw. In 2015, the senator who was elected along with votes of Poles from abroad was Barbara Borys-Damięcka of Civic Platform, although the biggest number of votes from Polish community was received by Anna Maria Anders, supported by Law and Justice.

A similar situation happens during elections to the lower house of Parliament, when Polish community votes for candidates from the constituency of Warsaw.