Cohabitation in municipal self-government

From Encyklopedia Administracji Publicznej

This page is a translated version of the page Koabitacja w samorządzie gminnym and the translation is 100% complete.

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COHABITATION IN MUNICIPAL SELF-GOVERNMENT (French cohabitation – living together, existing together, Polish: koabitacja, kohabitacja) – co-exercising of authority by the executive and decision-making and control bodies of various policy options. The phenomenon of cohabitation has appeared in the Polish municipal government since 2002, when direct elections of village mayors, mayors and city presidents were introduced. Therefore, it occurs only at the level of municipality, because only in these units of local government the two bodies come from direct elections (different from county and voivodship). In the contemporary literature on the subject, the phenomenon of c. is described mainly in the context of semi-presidential systems – coming from different political parties, the president and prime minister usually do not want to share power, which means that the phenomenon of c. is conflictual. Studies conducted in the Polish local government show that at the municipality level one can distinguish conflicting c. and consensual c. (peaceful, cooperative). In cohabitative municipalities antagonisms between the authorities not always appear. The lack of such conflict is largely due to the imbalance of power between the council and the village mayor (the mayor, the city president) [ M. Sidor ].

Literature: M. Sidor, K. Kuć-Czajkowska, J. Wasil, Koabitacja na poziomie gminnym w Polsce, Warszawa 2017 (w druku) ■ R. Elgie, Semi-presidentialism, cohabitation and the collapse of electoral democracies, 1990–2008, „Government and Opposition” 2010, nr 1.

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