IV. The Seym
(1) The Seym exercises legislative functions and controls the activities of the Government; the Seym also fixes the budget and imposes charges upon the citizens.
(2) The control over the Government activities is expressed in the right of the Seym: (a) to demand the resignation of the Cabinet or of a Minister; (b) jointly with the Senate, to invoke the constitutional responsibility of the Prime Minister or of a Minister; (c) to file questions before the Cabinet; (d) to approve, each year, the final State accounts and to grant the Government release; (e) to participate in the control over State debts.
(3) The functions of governing the State do not belong to the Seym.
(1) The Seym consists of deputies elected by universal, secret, equal and direct suffrage.
(2) The term of the Seym lasts five years counting from the day on which it is convened.
(3) The dissolution of the Seym before the expiration of its term, requires a statement of cause.
(4) The President of the Republic issues writs for new elections within thirty days after the dissolution of the Seym.
(5) The voting shall take place not later than sixty days after the issue of the writs.
(6) Members of the Armed Forces belonging to the mobilized parts of the Army or Navy do not participate in the voting.
(1) Every citizen, irrespective of sex, has the right to vote if he has completed 24 years of age prior to the issue of the writs and if he enjoys, in full, his civil and civic rights.
(2) Every citizen, who has the right to vote, has also the right of eligibility, if he has attained the age of thirty.
(3) An Act in respect of elections to the Seym, shall determine the division of the country into constituencies, fix the number of deputies, establish electoral procedure and shall also define the classes of persons deprived of the right of voting and of the right of eligibility for lack of sufficient moral or intellectual qualities.
(1) The Seym elects, from among its members, a Speaker for the term of its office.
(2) Until the next Seym is constituted, the Speaker retains the prerogatives vested in him for the election of the President of the Republic.
(1) The Seym shall be convened for the first session of a new term not later than within thirty days after the announcement of the result of the elections to the Legislative Chambers.
(2) The ordinary session of the Seym shall be opened every year at the latest in November and cannot be closed before the lapse of four months unless the budget shall have been adopted at an earlier date.
(3) The ordinary session can be adjourned for thirty days.
(4) An adjournment for a longer period, or an additional adjournment, requires the agreement of the Seym.
(5) The recess period caused by an adjournment of the session is not taken into account for the period prescribed by the Constitution for the activities of the Seym.
(1) The President of the Republic may at any time call at his own discretion, an extraordinary session of the Seym;
he shall do so within thirty days, on the motion of at least half the statutory number of deputies.
(2) During an extraordinary session the Seym can debate only on matters stated in the President's summons or in the motion of the deputies demanding such a session, and on matters which by laws or rules of procedure require to be dealt with at the nearest session, or which will be considered urgent by the President of the Republic on the motion of the Prime Minister or of the Speaker.
The resolutions of the Seym are adopted by a majority vote in the presence of at least one-third of the statutory number of deputies, unless the Constitution provides otherwise.
(1) The sessions of the Seym are public.
(2) The Seym may enact debates in camera.
(3) The minutes and stenographic records, issued on the Speaker's order are the only documentary evidence of the proceedings of the Seym debates.
(4) No one may be held responsible for publishing and disseminating reports of public debates of the Seym if they fully and exactly report these debates.
1) The deputies take the following oath before accepting their mandate;
Conscious of the duty of loyalty to the Polish State I do you; solemnly and pledge my honour, in my capacity as deputy to the Seym of the Republic, not to cease in work for the welfare of the State and to consider the care for its dignity, unity and strength as my first duty.
2) A refusal, on the part of a deputy to take the oath or taking the oath with reservation is equivalent to a rejection of the mandate.
The deputies receive remuneration and have the right to use gratuitously the State-owned means of communication within the boundaries of the State.
(1) The deputies enjoy only such assurances of immunity as are necessary for their participation in the work of the Seym.
(2) The deputies are responsible only before the Seym for speeches held in the Seym or for motions, questions and for improper behaviour during debates.
(3) For actions, however, contrary to the duty of loyalty to the Polish State, or bearing the nature of an indictable offence, a deputy may be arraigned before the Tribunal of State by a resolution of the Seym or on the demand of the Speaker or of the Minister of Justice, and by the verdict of that Tribunal be deprived of his mandate as a deputy.
(4) For infringing the rights of a third person during the deliberations of the Seym a deputy may be obliged to answer before a Court of Justice only with the permission of the Seym,
(1) For activities not connected with their participation in the work of the Seym, deputies are responsible equally with other citizens.
(2) A criminal or administrative prosecution, however, or a disciplinary inquiry instituted against a deputy before or after his receiving his mandate, should on the demand of the Seym be stayed till the expiration of his mandate.
(3) The time during which a criminal prosecution or an disciplinary inquiry has been stayed is not included in the period of limitation.
(4) A deputy, who has been detained during a session but not on the ground of a warrant issued by a Court of Justice shall be immediately released on the demand of the Speaker of the Seym.
(1) A deputy may not hold a senatorial mandate.
(2) Offices and posts, the taking of which entails the loss of a deputy's mandate, shall be determined by law.
(3) A deputy is not permitted to conduct activities incompatible with the holding of a mandate, under pain of the consequences envisaged by the law.
(1) A deputy is not permitted in his own or in any other name or on behalf of enterprises, associations and companies set up for gainful purposes, to acquire or lease State property, to undertake supplies to the Government and to execute public works, or to obtain concessions or any other personal emoluments from the Government.
(2) For the violation of the aforesaid prohibitions deputies shall be arraigned on the demand of the Speaker or of the President of the Supreme Board of Control before the Tribunal of State, and by a verdict of the Tribunal they may be deprived of their mandate as deputies and of the personal emoluments received from the Government.
(3) In pursuance of a resolution of the Committee on Rules of Procedure, passed by a majority of three-fifths, the Speaker of the Seym may allow a deputy in special cases to enter into contractual relations with the Government if this relation is not contrary to accepted usage.
(1) The Prime Minister, the Ministers and officials delegated by them have the right to attend the sessions of the Seym and to take the floor regardless of the order of speakers.
(2) The deputies may question the Prime Minister and Ministers on matters within their competence, in the manner prescribed by the rules of procedure.
(3) The prime Minister or the questioned Minister must answer within forty-five days or give the reasons justifying refusal to give explanations.