Parliament Wednesday began examining a historic package of legislation that will legalize the outlawed Solidarity union and start Poland on the road to parliamentary democracy. The six bills presented to parliament will liberalize elections to the 460-member house, create a democratically elected senate with a limited right of legislative veto, and establish a powerful new state presidency.
They will also liberalize the right to form associations and political clubs, but stop short of permitting creation of new political parties to challenge the Communists and their Democratic and Peasant Party allies.
Tadeusz Mlynczak, leader of the Democratic Party, told parliament the reforms were ushering Poland into an era of political pluralism and it would need a strong executive presidency to guide it on a stable course toward greater democracy.
The president would be elected by a joint session of the new parliament after June elections. Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, the Communist Party leader, is expected to become the first president.