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Local elections – how to participate

21.08.06, 20:35
Today I went to my local city administration in Mokotów (Warsaw) in order to
register for the forthcoming local elections. As the elections will probably
take place around October 10th the is only another couple of weeks to go if
you want to participate in the elections.

Any EU-citizens with a permanent address in Poland is entitled to take part
in the municipal elections, but I must admit that people seemed a bit
bewildered when I requested to be placed in the electoral register. I spoke
to three or four people who didn’t know anything, but I last I was directed
to a guy who is dealing with the stuff. Just in case any of you should have
any kind of problems with the registration, here is a page which explains it
all in Polish:

bip.umtychy.pl/?grupa=podmioty&dzial=um&kat=wydzialy&id=23&pkat=sprawy&idd=220

You have to fill out 2 forms and present a photocopy of your Polish residence
card.

The first form is a petition to be placed in the electoral register. The
second form is a declaration that you have not been deprived of the right to
vote in your country of origin. Both forms can be found here:

bip.umtychy.pl/pokaz.php?plik=swo_wpisdorejwybczb.pdf&kat=wydzialy_sprawy

REMEMBER: Registration must take place by the latest 30 days before the
elections.
Edytor zaawansowany
  • finninwaw 23.08.06, 21:12
    Last time round I went out to register 2 days too late and have been kicking
    myself for the last couple years. Won't be making that mistake again, and I hope
    other EU citizens here in Poland will make good use of their right to vote. We
    could probably together make a bit of a difference, considering the low voter
    turnout in local elections here! wink
  • hardenfelt 04.09.06, 14:10
    Only a few more days to go if you want to register! Anyone did it already,
    except from me?
  • sobieski010 04.09.06, 19:53
    I tried last week Thursday here in Bielany, Warsaw.
    After a lot of consternation and phoning around they told mne I cannot vote here
    because I have a "pobyt czasowy" and not a "pobyt Stały",(I have one for EU
    citizens for 5 yrs). On Długa 5 they told me it was a "grey zone" and I have to
    battle it out with Bielany. HELP !!!!
    Give me some weapons to fight back !
    I think they realize almost 99,999 % of all foreigners in Warsaw would vote PO -
    so better to stop them...
    What I need now is some ammunition to fight Gmina Bielań, so all help welcome.
    Even if too late for these elections, but surely for the next ones.
  • hardenfelt 04.09.06, 21:53
    sobieski010 napisał:

    > I tried last week Thursday here in Bielany, Warsaw.
    > After a lot of consternation and phoning around they told mne I cannot vote
    her
    > e
    > because I have a "pobyt czasowy" and not a "pobyt Stały",(I have one for EU
    > citizens for 5 yrs). On Długa 5 they told me it was a "grey zone" and I have
    to
    > battle it out with Bielany. HELP !!!!
    > Give me some weapons to fight back !
    > I think they realize almost 99,999 % of all foreigners in Warsaw would vote
    PO
    > -
    > so better to stop them...
    > What I need now is some ammunition to fight Gmina Bielań, so all help welcome.
    > Even if too late for these elections, but surely for the next ones.

    Sobieski010!

    First of all – are you registered for „pobyt czasowy” in Warsaw because you
    don’t have any long/termed relations to this town, or because these fuckers
    didn’t want to register you for pobyt stały.

    If you have a valid rental contract or any other proof that you actually live
    where you live, then I’ll be happy to go with you to the town hall tomorrow and
    take care they register you for “stały pobyt”. Unfortunately it must be
    tomorrow, as I’m not available the next week. The lack of “stały pobyt” is
    troublesome in this country, not only in relation to public authorities, but
    also in relation to banks, work and a whole lot of other things.

    The rules state that you should have a permanent address where you vote. This
    is problematic, as most small-minded Polish officials consider a permanent
    address to equal stały meldunek. But the law does not say anything about stały
    meldunek - it says that you should “stałe zamieszkiwać” – i.e. actually living
    where you live. In my point of view, if you have lived where you live for the
    past 6 month, then you live there permanently. Unfortunately Polish officials
    have their own way of interpreting things, as the following sequence shows:

    Art. 6a. 1. Prawo wybierania do rady gminy ma również obywatel Unii
    Europejskiej niebędący obywatelem polskim, który najpóźniej w dniu głosowania
    kończy 18 lat, stale zamieszkuje na obszarze działania tej gminy oraz który, z
    zastrzeżeniem ust. 2,został wpisany do prowadzonego w tej gminie stałego
    rejestru wyborców najpóźniej na 12 miesięcy przed dniem wyborów.
    (Art. 6a ust. 1 został uznany przez Trybunał Konstytucyjny za niezgodny z
    Konstytucją Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej w zakresie, w jakim pozbawia czynnego
    prawa wyborczego do rady gminy obywateli Unii Europejskiej niebędących
    obywatelami polskimi, wpisanych do prowadzonego w gminie stałego rejestru
    wyborców w okresie krótszym niż 12 miesięcy przed dniem wyborów - Wyrok TK z
    dnia 20 lutego 2006 r. - DZ. U. Nr 43, poz. 242)
    www.pkw.gov.pl/pkw2/index.jsp?place=Lead07&news_cat_id=1926&news_id=7145&layout=1&page=text

    The above practice has been changed. But meldunek and living has nothing to do
    with each other. I will be happy to discuss this with your town hall.

    Article 9 of the law states: Art. 9. Przy ustalaniu faktu stałego zamieszkania
    dla potrzeb niniejszej ustawy stosuje się przepisy Kodeksu cywilnego. (same
    link as above)

    Please – I’ll love to fight this together with you tomorrow. Mail me if it is
    possible.
  • usenetposts 05.09.06, 14:43
    I could only get the 5 years as well. I was told that's all we get, the 5
    years, and if that's the case, then they have to allow us to vote in elections
    with 5 years stay, or else immediately give us the staly pobyt.

    I would be interested in getting staly pobyt also.

    If they refuse, they should do so in writing, and it will be grounds to cjange
    my tax status back to a lower tax jurisdiction.

    --
    - Uncle Davey's Homepage -
    :: Foreigners Living in Poland Forum
  • hardenfelt 05.09.06, 15:22
    usenetposts napisał:

    > I could only get the 5 years as well. I was told that's all we get, the 5
    > years, and if that's the case, then they have to allow us to vote in
    elections
    > with 5 years stay, or else immediately give us the staly pobyt.
    >
    > I would be interested in getting staly pobyt also.
    >
    > If they refuse, they should do so in writing, and it will be grounds to
    cjange
    > my tax status back to a lower tax jurisdiction.
    >

    You will NEVER get a "stały pobyt". Only foreginers get Karta stałego pobytu
    and you are European citizen, i.e. have the same rights as Poles.
  • hardenfelt 05.09.06, 15:24
    hardenfelt napisał:

    > You will NEVER get a "stały pobyt". Only foreginers get Karta stałego pobytu
    > and you are European citizen, i.e. have the same rights as Poles.

    But we might have to fight a bit for our rights.
  • hardenfelt 06.09.06, 09:23
    I have a 5 years card and I'm registered. The point is, it takes a looooong
    time before Polish officials find out that something changed. Sometimes we have
    to work our way through ourselves.

    By the way, the EU commission is working on abolishing alien-cards for EU-
    citizens. It should come through within 2 years. I suppose we will get a normal
    Dowód Osobisty by then.
  • usenetposts 06.09.06, 14:25
    That would be good news.

    Let's all be just Europeans. Let's consider being Danish or British or Polish
    as little more important than coming from Seeland or Hertfordshire or
    Mazowieckie wojewodship.


    hardenfelt napisał:

    > I have a 5 years card and I'm registered. The point is, it takes a looooong
    > time before Polish officials find out that something changed. Sometimes we
    have
    >
    > to work our way through ourselves.
    >
    > By the way, the EU commission is working on abolishing alien-cards for EU-
    > citizens. It should come through within 2 years. I suppose we will get a
    normal
    >
    > Dowód Osobisty by then.

    --
    - Uncle Davey's Homepage -
    :: Foreigners Living in Poland Forum
  • hardenfelt 05.09.06, 15:20
    sobieski010 napisał:

    > I tried last week Thursday here in Bielany, Warsaw.
    > After a lot of consternation and phoning around they told mne I cannot vote
    her
    > e
    > because I have a "pobyt czasowy" and not a "pobyt Stały",(I have one for EU
    > citizens for 5 yrs).

    Registration in the registration office (pobyt stały or czasowy) takes place on
    the basis of ustawa o ewidencji ludności i dowodach osobistych from 1974. The
    law has onviously been changed many times. An updated version can be found
    here:

    www.portalmed.pl/xml/prawo/rozne/dowody/050788u
    It is not surprising that your local city council doesn’t know the law, because
    the above version is not an official version which has been published in the
    Gazette (dziennik ustaw). Such consolidated acts are only published now and
    then. In stead the changes are published, and the poor officials must search
    miles of laws to establish the present legal state. If you go to Warsaw’s
    official page:

    www.wom.warszawa.pl/linki.php
    - then you will find an outdated version of the law (from 2001):

    bap-psp.lex.pl/serwis/du/2001/0960.htm
    When you have a “Karta Pobytu obywatela Unii Europejskiej” you are of course
    permanently resident in Poland and you have a right to register for “pobyt
    stały”. Article 26, subsection 2. To convince local city council you will
    probably have to make a print of the law.

    Even if they accept that the rules have changed, and that your Karta Pobytu
    suffice, then they might find other reasons not to register you. For some
    strange reason they simply don’t like to register people (Poles and aliens
    alike) for “stały pobyt”. They can claim that it is impossible to register you
    because you are already registered for pobyt czasowy, they can claim that you
    haven’t proved the right to the flat/ house you are living in or they can find
    some other obscure reason. Whatever they come up with, it’s bullshit, but in
    each case you have to find the appropriate paragraph to prove their
    incompetence.
  • finninwaw 06.10.06, 16:17
    I got it done yesterday at Gmina Ursynów.

    The urzednik didn't have a problem with the fact that I'm registered for
    "temporary residence" for 5 years.
  • sobieski010 09.09.06, 06:54
    A late thanks to everybody who gave valuable information here.
    I am still trying to get everything sorted out before the elections (does
    anybody know when they will be ? 10 October or so?)
  • babiana 25.09.06, 14:07

    18th September 2006

    New election law amended

    From Warsaw Business Journal

    People who moved within the last year will be permitted to vote normally in
    their new voting ward during the local government elections.

    The electoral law was changed to avoid a mistake preventing normal voting.


    --
    Jesli jeden czlowiek powie ci, ze masz osle uszy, nie przejmuj sie, jesli powie
    ci to dwoch ludzi, przygotuj sobie siodlo.
  • babiana 25.09.06, 14:09

    18th September 2006

    German minority

    From Warsaw Business Journal

    LPR has submitted its amendments to election rules, doing away with privileges
    for the German minority (GM).

    Introduced by the Polish-German relationship treaty in the early 1990s, the
    privileges state that the GM does not need to achieve a 5% threshold nationwide,
    only in their constituency. PM Kaczyński explained that it was a token of good
    will from Poland at the time, but the time has come to demand the same for
    Polish minorities. (Poland A.M.)
    --
    Jesli jeden czlowiek powie ci, ze masz osle uszy, nie przejmuj sie, jesli powie
    ci to dwoch ludzi, przygotuj sobie siodlo.
  • marcus_anglikiem 25.09.06, 23:19
    i can't imagine such retardation can possibly exist anywhere but in Bliar's uk:
    i got home from work today to find a letter from the government telling me i
    face a £1000 (5850zl) fine unless i tell them the full names of each person
    living in this property along with nationality, and sign and date & return.
    they tried to disguise it as something to do with elections but really it's a
    database of everyone's identity, location and so much more not many people know
    about, by the back door (i.e. stealing from people if they do not SUBMIT)!
  • raggety 29.09.06, 01:07
    What I've read here seems really confusing. It was my understanding that to
    vote you need a karta pobytu obywatela UE. I have a karta stałego pobytu so I
    assumed I couldn't vote - and I have no intention of changing it until it
    expires as my karta stałego pobytu is better than the EU citizen card. As
    for "stałe mieszkanie", it usually means stały meldunek and you can't get stały
    meldunek just because you fancy it! you need a document (in my case it was a
    karta stałego pobytu in the form of a little "booklet" with places for
    residence stamps; when cards were changed, I had to show the voivode's decision
    granting me permanent residence). No biuro meldunkowe will let you have stały
    meldunek just because you've lived at an address for 6 months. Besides, if the
    address you want to be registered for stały meldunek isn't your property, you
    need the owner's consent, and you can forget that unless it belongs to your
    spouse or in-laws. Dz.U. 2006, Nr 144, poz. 1043 has the latest on residence of
    EU citizens. To get pobyt stały you have to have been resident here for 5
    years. On the other hand, one of those links about voting mentioned attaching a
    document showing that the EU citizen is on the electoral register in their home
    country - but I fail to see how I can be on the UK electoral register if I'm a
    permanent resident of Poland!
  • hardenfelt 29.09.06, 13:23
    raggety napisała:

    > What I've read here seems really confusing. It was my understanding that to
    > vote you need a karta pobytu obywatela UE. I have a karta stałego pobytu so I
    > assumed I couldn't vote - and I have no intention of changing it until it
    > expires as my karta stałego pobytu is better than the EU citizen card. As
    > for "stałe mieszkanie", it usually means stały meldunek and

    You need to be a EU citizens and live permanently in Poland. It doesn’t matter
    what kind of card you have.

    Ustawa z dnia 16 lipca 1998 r. with later changes - Ordynacja wyborcza do rad
    gmin, rad powiatów i sejmików województw. Article 6a, 1

    You are right that in many cases a Karta Stałego Pobytu is better than the EU
    citizen card – but only because of people’s ignorance. The EU citizens card is
    in fact a card granting us the same rights as native poles, but it doesn’t help
    much when nobody knows. I understand that you don’t want to change. In 2 years
    time the law will change, and by then we will get a normal Dowód Osobiśty.

    In case of elections “stałe mieszkanie” means actual place of living, according
    to kodeks cywilny. Article 9 of the above law.

    raggety napisała:

    On the other hand, one of those links about voting mentioned attaching a
    >
    > document showing that the EU citizen is on the electoral register in their
    home
    >
    > country - but I fail to see how I can be on the UK electoral register if I'm
    a
    > permanent resident of Poland!

    You don’t have to be on the British electoral register, but you must not be
    deprived of your voting rights in Great Britain.
  • hardenfelt 29.09.06, 13:27
    raggety napisała:
    Dz.U. 2006, Nr 144, poz. 1043 has the latest on residence of
    >
    > EU citizens.
    I have read the new law you mentioned. Fine. This is the sort of information we
    need here.

    The law has been changed. until August 25th you could register for pobyt stały
    on the basis of a “citizens card”

    It is true they made a new concept for EU citizens “prawo stałego pobytu”,
    which you can obtain after 5 years in Poland. This means, that after 5 years
    they would not be able to redraw your right to live in Poland, even in the case
    where you are not able to support yourself financially. This is ok and in
    accordance with EU-rules.

    They have also connected this right to registration or “meldunek”. This means,
    that after the new rules you will need to live in Poland for 5 years to
    get “stały meldunek”. I believe this is some kind of mistake, and it will
    probably be changed soon.

    Stały meldunek is imperative in Poland to exercise your basic rights as a
    citizens. This has been established by the courts on several occasions. Also a
    Polish citizens should register himself for “stały pobyt” if he intends to stay
    somewhere for more than 2 months, unless he plans to return to his former
    residence. As so the new law is discriminatory to EU-citizens and as so
    contradictory to EU-regulations. It can only be a matter of time before it is
    questioned in the EU court. As for now, it is at it is; as usual unknown to
    officials, as I succeeded in registering a friend of mine for “stały pobyt”
    today.

    The thing to do now is to start sending a well augmented letters to the
    Ministry with complaints. I might help. The law making process is haphazard,
    but they change them again quickly.
  • sobieski010 29.09.06, 14:52
    Thanks Michael. Today we have beaten the bureaucrates and they did not like it
    one bit. Seems I have escaped just in time.
    Local elections, here I come... and PIS, eat your heart out smile

    By the way, the consequences of this new regulations are immense.
    What if you as an EU citizen want to get a mortgage to buy a house?
    No bank will talk to you if you do not have a meldunek stały.
  • raggety 30.09.06, 17:04
    If pobyt stały isn't going to be linked to stały meldunek, there shouldn't be
    any problem in getting it. I got pobyt stały based on an invitation from a
    Pole, but then her husband refused to register me for stały meldunek so for a
    while my karta stałego pobytu was without an address stamp and worthless. Got
    it sorted in the end, someone else offered me their address. I assume the
    friend you got registered owns his own flat.
  • hardenfelt 30.09.06, 18:41
    raggety napisała:
    I assume the
    > friend you got registered owns his own flat.

    Yes he own his own flat. But I rent mine, and I also have “stały meldunek”. I
    did not ask my landlord to sign any papers when I registered my stały
    meldunek, as it is and was my conviction that this is none of his business. I
    had to discuss with them at the Biuro Meldunkowe, but not for long. A rental
    contract is enough. The only people there can have problems today are people
    who live with a friend, without any kind of contract.

    After pressure from the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court the rules
    for meldunek have gradually been relaxed during the past 5 years, and the only
    purpose of meldunek is now to inform the authorities about your whereabouts.

    This is why it is completely unacceptable when EU-citizens are now deprived of
    their right to stały meldunek until they get their permanent residence paper.
    The Supreme Court stated that the former rules where to burdensome and that
    everyone with a permanent address has the right to stały meldunek, whereas the
    Constitutional Court stated that the former rules limited the constitutional
    right to move freely within Poland. The rules where subsequently changed, but
    EU-citizens are now subjected to almost the same rules as Poles lived under
    earlier. And this is discriminating and therefore unacceptable.
  • raggety 01.10.06, 02:10
    If you have stały meldunek at a flat belonging to your landlord, can he de-
    register you from the flat without your consent? It used to be the case that
    only the person with the stały meldunek could de-register themselves, which was
    why stały meldunek was so difficult to get - the owner can't sell the flat if
    someone is registered as having stały meldunek there and he couldn't de-
    register that person either (unless they were no longer living there, but that
    involved administrative proceedings, calling witnesses, etc. and was time-
    consuming).
    Re. elections - Once an EU citizen registers for elections, is that
    registration valid indefinitely or do we have to register for local elections
    each time?
  • usenetposts 06.10.06, 19:07

    -- raggety napisała:

    > If you have stały meldunek at a flat belonging to your landlord, can he de-
    > register you from the flat without your consent? It used to be the case that
    > only the person with the stały meldunek could de-register themselves, which
    was
    >
    > why stały meldunek was so difficult to get - the owner can't sell the flat if
    > someone is registered as having stały meldunek there and he couldn't de-
    > register that person either (unless they were no longer living there, but
    that
    > involved administrative proceedings, calling witnesses, etc. and was time-
    > consuming).
    > Re. elections - Once an EU citizen registers for elections, is that
    > registration valid indefinitely or do we have to register for local elections
    > each time?

    These are good questions,and I'm looking forward to Michael's answer, hopefully.

    - Uncle Davey's Homepage -
    :: Foreigners Living in Poland Forum
  • hardenfelt 06.10.06, 19:39
    raggety napisała:

    > If you have stały meldunek at a flat belonging to your landlord, can he de-
    > register you from the flat without your consent? It used to be the case that
    > only the person with the stały meldunek could de-register themselves, which
    was
    >
    > why stały meldunek was so difficult to get - the owner can't sell the flat if
    > someone is registered as having stały meldunek there and he couldn't de-
    > register that person either (unless they were no longer living there, but
    that
    > involved administrative proceedings, calling witnesses, etc. and was time-
    > consuming).

    It is still an administrative decision to de-register someone. This is
    obviously impossible as long as the interested person still lives in the
    property. If someone moves away he should de-register himself. If he doesn’t do
    so he violates the law and is liable to a fine, which obviously doesn’t help
    the owner much.

    In that case the procedure has been simplified. The interested person applies
    for de-registration and gives his reasons why this should be done. Then he pays
    5 zł. and wait for 30 days. Within that time the gmina can do whatever they
    like to verify if this person lives on the address. It is probably different
    from gmina to gmina what they actually do in that case (send a letter or send
    straż miejska to check). If the case is very complicated they can wait for 2
    months with an answer, but this is the maximum period they are allowed to wait.

    > Re. elections - Once an EU citizen registers for elections, is that
    > registration valid indefinitely or do we have to register for local elections
    > each time?

    I forgot to ask, but it’s not mentioned in the law. I presume – but don’t know –
    that you are registered as long as you don’t change your address.

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