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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.
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    • finninwaw Re: Local elections – how to participate 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
      • sobieski010 Re: Local elections – how to participate 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 Re: Local elections – how to participate 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 Re: Local elections – how to participate 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.
            • hardenfelt Re: Local elections – how to participate 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 Re: Local elections – how to participate 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 Re: Local elections – how to participate 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.
        • hardenfelt Re: Local elections – how to participate 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.
        • babiana Re: Local elections – how to participate 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.
        • babiana Re: German minority 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.)
          • marcus_anglikiem Re: elections (please read this, it's interesting) 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 Re: elections, karta pobytu and pobyt stały 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 Re: elections, karta pobytu and pobyt stały 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 Re: elections, karta pobytu and pobyt stały 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 Re: elections, karta pobytu and pobyt stały 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 Re: elections, karta pobytu and pobyt stały 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 Re: elections, karta pobytu and pobyt stały 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 Re: elections, karta pobytu and pobyt stały 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?
                      • hardenfelt Re: elections, karta pobytu and pobyt stały 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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