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Polish Leaders Contemplate Change of Polish Constitution

Interest of Polish leaders and politicians is now centered on a project which may have far-reaching effects on the internal as well as external situation of the Polish Republic.

Since the opening of the autumn session of the Polish Diet, various clubs of Sejm members belonging to the Right Parties have been earnestly discussing a bill which will be introduced into the Sejm, concerning changing the Polish Constitution, framed by the Polish Constituent Assembly and known as the Constitution of March 17.

It has been felt in Polish chauvinistic circles that the Polish Constitution as it now stands is altogether too liberal. However, the main attack is to be expected on the clauses of the Constitution which provide for a direct, general, secret and proportionate vote. It is owing to this election law that the National Minorities have been able to secure an adequate representation in the Polish Parliament. This law, the Polish chauvanistic leaders claim, is also responsible for the fact that the Polish Parliament, since its inception, never saw a purely Polish majority, a fact which has led to the constant changes of the government. By eliminating the clause calling for the proportionate vote, according to which citizens can cast their vote on national tickets, the National Minorities-amounting to almost 40% of the population in Poland, and particularly the Jewish minority which is not territorial, but rather dispersed throughout the Republic-will lose their chance of winning at the elections.

The original law was framed during the period immediately following the days of the Armistice and under the influence of the Russian and German revolutions, when the cabinet of Moraczewsky, the leader of the Polish Socialistic party, was in power. In amending this law, it is intended also to make a new division of the voting districts so as to drown the cities mainly populated by Jews in a sea of the surrounding villages.

Deliberations of the Polish parties on the subject have not taken definite form yet, but it is stated in well-informed circles that the clauses of the Polish Constitution which embody the guarantees for the rights of the National Minorities, based on Article 93 of the Versailles Peace Treaty, will not be left untouched, inasmuch as strong opposition has been displayed by nearly all the Polish parties to the “imposed National Minority clauses.”

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