President to propose referendum questions on June 12 - aide

At a sitting of the National Development Council on June 12, Polish President Andrzej Duda will make public for final consultation the proposed questions for a referendum on changes to the constitution, presidential aide Paweł Mucha announced on Wednesday.

"We plan a plenary sitting of the National Development Council (NRR), at which the president will make public potential referendum questions in their version prior to final closure of the discussion," Mucha, who is also the president's commissioner for the consultative referendum, told PAP, adding that the NNR sitting is planned for June 12. Mucha clarified that, "if not all then at least a significant proportion," of the questions would be ready.

"They key to the success of the referendum is formulating appropriate questions, which will encourage Poles to take part in the voting," Mucha stressed. As concerns the timing for a referendum, the aide said President Duda maintains his preference for it to be held on November 10-11. He added that it was "highly probable" the president will meet with Senate (upper house) Speaker Stanisław Karczewski ahead of the NRR meeting and that Much himself would certainly meet Karczewski.

Paweł Mucha went on to announce that the president would file a draft decision to the Senate in July on holding a national referendum. "Voting in the Senate will probably take place in the second half of July, at the final July sitting," Mucha said. The final Senate sitting before the summer recess is planned for July 25, 26 and 27.

"So we have about a month for any final discussions, arrangements, but the public will also have an opportunity to respond to these proposed questions, which the president will present in June," he said.

The presidential aide also announced that the president would refer to the consultative referendum during this Friday's meeting of local governments on the occasion of Local Government Day.

On May 3, 2017 President Duda announced his initiative to hold a referendum on changes to the constitution. He suggested Poland's constitution should be amended to take into account the changed domestic and international environment, two decades after the country's basic law was passed. To this end, he would like to ask citizens whether to alter the constitution and if so, in what respect.