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THE ELECTION METHOD AS THE LEGITIMISING FACTOR OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND (AS COMPARED WITH THE CZECH REPUBLIC, SLOVAKIA, HUNGARY, ROMANIA AND BULGARIA)
 
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Instytut Nauk Politycznych Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
Publication date: 2020-01-28
 
Studia Politologiczne 2002;6
 
ABSTRACT
The article takes up the effort of demonstrating that the method used in electing a president is of primary importance in legally sanctioning this organ of the state. Of no lesser importance to this process are also such elements as personality and public approval rating of the person holding this post. The method of electing the president of the Polish Republic is compared with electoral systems in other central European countries – in Poland, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria the model of general and direct elections was adopted, whereas in the Czech Republic and in Hungary, the model in which the president is elected by the parliament. The election of the head of state by popular vote too often is associated with two, largely stereotype, opinions. Firstly, that this form of elections is preferable where the president is a true participant in the governing of the state, and secondly, that the general election model provides for the increase in the scope of presidential authority. The systems of government functioning in Poland and the other states in the region do not support such opinions. General elections provide greater legitimacy to the elected head of state, which greatly assists the president in the execution of his role as mediator, an intermediary in situations of constitutional or political and social crises. According to many authors, general elections for president have the power to build and consolidate a civic society – particularly in those cases where stable party systems have not yet developed fully. The model in which the parliament elects the president, on the other hand, seems to correspond more fully with the principles of parliamentary systems of government, but petrifies the position of the president as a neutral figure of authority or symbol of the state – and to a lesser degree (although without eliminating it altogether) allows the head of state to perform the role of a mediator.
ISSN:1640-8888