President: May 3rd Constitution is a cornerstone of modern Poland
Poland's President Andrzej Duda said on Thursday that the Constitution of May 3rd, 1791, adopted by the then Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, became a cornerstone of freedom and the modern Polish state.
The head of state spoke at the keynote ceremony outside Warsaw's Royal Castle, as Poland marked the 227th anniversary of the enactment of the famous supreme law.
The President called on Poles to take part in a referendum on the current constitution, which is planned for November this year, to coincide with the centenary of Polish independence.
"I am announcing today that, within the statutory timeframe," Andrzej Duda said, "I will submit a relevant request with the Senate to hold a (constitutional) referendum on November 10 and 11, 2018."
The head of state emphasised it is his intention that the plebiscite "where all Poles will have a say about their vision for Poland's future institutional system" takes place "on these great November dates," when the country re-emerged in 1918.
Andrzej Duda added that the 3rd May Constitution - Europe's first written supreme law - became a testament and a model for future generations of Poles.
President noted that by 1791, the Commonwealth was already "ripped apart" by Tsarist Russia, Prussia and Austria, and the constitution represented a patriotic attempt to restore a strong, fair Poland "like it was in the 16th century."
While this did not happen, the President said, the supreme law "became a big cornerstone of freedom, a big cornerstone of modern Polish statehood."
Both the victorious independence fighters of 1918 and the Solidarity movement of the 1980s - "which broke the dominance of communism in our part of the world" - drew inspiration from the famous 1791 document, Andrzej Duda added.