CHAPTER 3.

THE SUPREME ORGANS OF STATE AUTHORITY

Article 15.

1. The highest organ of State authority is the Seym of the Polish People's Republic.

2. The Seym, which is the highest spokesman of the will of the working people of town and

country, realises the sovereign rights of the Nation.

3. The Seym passes laws and exercises control over the functioning of other organs of State authority and administration.

Article 16.

1. Deputies to the Seym are elected by the citizens in electoral districts, in the proportion of one Deputy to 60,000 inhabitants.

2. The validity of the election of a Deputy is confirmed by the Seym.

3. No deputy may be either prosecuted or arrested, without the consent of the Seym, and when the Seym is not in session, without the consent of the Council of State.

Article 17.

1. The Seym meets in sessions. The sessions of the Seym are convened by the Council of State at least twice a year. The Council of State is also bound to convene a session on a written motion by one-third of the total number of Deputies.

2. The first session of a newly elected Seym must be convened within a period of one month after the date of the elections.

Article 18.

1. The Seym elects from among its members a Chairman, Deputy Chairmen and committees.

2: The Chairman or his deputy presides over the debates and supervises the course of the work of the Seym.

3. The debates of the Seym are open to the public. The Seym may vote the holding of a secret meeting if the interests of the State require it.

4. The order of work of the Seym, the nature and number of committees, are defined by rules of procedure adopted by the Seym.

Article 19.

1. The Seym adopts the national economic plans for a period of a number of years.

2. The Seym adopts every year the State budget.

Article 20.

1. The right to propose legislation is vested in the Council of State, the Government and the Deputies.

2. Laws passed by the Seym are signed by the President of the Council of State and its Secretary. Laws are published in the Journal of Laws by order of the President of the Council of State.

Article 21.

The Seym may appoint a Commission to examine a specified matter. The terms of reference and the procedure of the Commission are deter mined by the Seym.

Article 22.

The Chairman of the Council of Ministers or individual Ministers are bound to give an answer within seven days, to a question put by a Deputy.

Article 23.

1. The Seym is elected for a term of four years.

2. The Council of State orders the holding of elections to the Seym not later than one month before the expiry of the term of office of the Seym, the date of elections to be fixed on a work free day within two months after the expiry of .the term of office of the Seym.

Article 24.

1. At its first sitting, the Seym elects from ┬Ľamong its members the Council of State, consisting of:

the President of the Council of State, four Vice-Presidents,

the Secretary of the Council of State, nine Members.

2. The Chairman and Deputy Chairmen of the Seym may be elected to the Council of State as Vice Presidents or as Members.

3. After the expiry of the term of office of the Seym, the Council of State acts until the election of a Council of State by the newly elected | Seym.

Article 25.

1. The Council of State:

i. orders the holding of elections to the Seym;

ii. convenes sessions of the Seym;

iii. lays down universally binding interpretation. of laws;

iv. issues decrees having the force of law;

v. appoints and recalls plenipotentiary repre sentatives of the Polish People's Republic in other States;

vi. receives letters of credence and of recall of diplomatic representatives of other States accredited to the Council of State;

vii. ratifies and denounces international treaties;

viii. appoints to civilian and military posts specified by law;

ix. awards orders and decorations, and confers titles of honour;

x. exercises the right of pardon;

xi. exercises other functions vested in the Council of State by the Constitution or assigned to it by law.

2. The Council of State is accountable to the Seym for all its activities.

3. The Council of State acts as a body.

4. The Council of State is represented by its President or his Deputy.

Article 26.

1. In the intervals between the sessions of the Seym, the Council of State issues decrees having the force of law. The Council of State submits its

decrees for approval to the next session of the Seym.

2. Decrees issued by the Council of State are signed by the President of the Council of State and its Secretary. Decrees are published in the Journal of Laws by order of the President of the Council of State.

Article 27.

The Council of State exercises ultimate supervision over the People's Councils. Specific powers of the Council of State in this respect are determined by law.

Article 28.

1. A decision concerning the declaration of a state of war may be adopted only in the event of armed aggression having been committed against the Polish People's Republic, or if, in pursuance of international agreements, the necessity of common defence against aggression should arise. Such a decision is voted by the Seym or, if the Seym is not in session, by the Council

of State.

2. The Council of State may, should considerations of the defence or security of the State so require, proclaim martial law in parts or in the entire territory of the Polish People's Republic. For similar reasons the Council of State may proclaim partial or general mobilisation.