550 years of parliamentary tradition: Polish opposition boycotts celebrations
PR dla Zagranicy
Top officials on Friday marked 550 years since Poland decided to set up a parliament, but the celebrations in Warsaw were boycotted by the country's main opposition party.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, Senate Speaker Stanisław Karczewski, lower house Speaker Marek Kuchciński and President Andrzej Duda. Photo: PAP/Marcin Obara
The Polish president, prime minister and speakers of both houses of parliament were among the political elites who attended a Catholic Mass at St John's Cathedral in Warsaw on Friday.
After the church service, President Andrzej Duda was to address a special joint meeting of the upper and lower houses of parliament at the Royal Castle in Warsaw.
But the Civic Platform, Poland's largest opposition party, announced that it would boycott the gathering of the National Assembly and hold its own celebrations instead.
Civic Platform Senator Barbara Zdrojewska said that the ruling conservative Law and Justice party "governs alone, let them celebrate alone".
Recent research suggests that a meeting of Polish politicians of the First Polish Republic (1454–1795) on July 13, 1468, decided that a new bicameral parliament would hold its first session in November that year.
According to lower house Speaker Marek Kuchciński, that makes Poland's parliamentary tradition one of the oldest in the world.
As well as 550 years of parliamentary tradition, Poland in 2018 also marks it centenary of independence.
On November 11, 1918, Polish statesman Józef Piłsudski arrived in Warsaw after being held prisoner in Germany during World War I, announcing Polish independence on the same day that the armistice to end the Great War was signed.
That paved the way for Poland to return to the map of Europe after more than 120 years of partitions and foreign rule. (vb/pk)