Party Regulation and its Effects on the Polish Party System (1991-2011)

Authors: Fernando Casal B?rtoa & Marcin Walecki | Published in: working paper series on the legal regulation of political parties, no. 22, May. | Date of publication: 2012

The development of a democratic political society - political parties, electoral rules, interparty alliances, and the legislature - is one of the major challenges for any transition regime. Political parties are the best institutions to effectively select and monitor democratically elected governments. In general, in the first stage of democratic transition, most post-Communist countries, including Poland, adopted a more laissez-faire stance towards the regulation of political parties. At the beginning of the transition in Poland, political parties were perceived more as private associations and there was barely any legislation to deal with their registration, funding, internal functioning and organizational structure. Liberal regulations, like the one adopted in 1990 were a natural response to the former Communist system, and represented a rejection of its restrictions and a fear of a one-party system that could harass the opposition. By the mid 1990s, however, society started to recognize the importance of political parties in a modern democracy and the problems related to their functioning and funding.

Download PDF