Country Listing

Poland Table of Contents




Striking coal miners in Katowice District, November 1981.
Courtesy Committee in Support of Solidarity, New York

Although significantly amended after the Round Table Agreement of April 1989, much of the constitution of 1952 remained in effect in mid-1992 (see The Round Table Agreement , this ch.). The symbolic target date of May 3, 1992 for adopting a new constitution proved unrealistic in light of Poland's political climate. That date would have commemorated the twohundredth anniversary of the enactment of Poland's first written constitution, the Ustawa Rzadowa of May 3, 1791--a widely hailed document intellectually rooted in the philosophy of the Enlightenment. But in 1990 and 1991 a new constitution was impossible because the Round Table Agreement had allowed the communists continued predominance in the Sejm and because of growing factionalism within Solidarity, the most powerful party. Even after free parliamentary elections in October 1991, however, political instability precluded the adoption of a new constitution in the near term.

Data as of October 1992