President Andrzej Duda, in his address to Polish lawmakers at the inaugural meeting of the Sejm (lower house) on Tuesday said it is a great privilege to sit in the parliament and debate the most important matters in the country.
The president pointed to the fact that candidates of all national election committees managed to enter the Sejm.
"In my view, this is extremely important, because it means that almost all citizens who took part in the elections have their representatives, that there are people in this room who represent their point of view, with whom they agreed during the election campaign when they heard about their vision of Poland's further development, their way to pursue politics, what they are striving for and what future they see for our country," Andrzej Duda said.
The president thanked Poles for their strong participation in the October 13 general elections. According to him, the higher the turnout the stronger the mandate of those who were elected.
He added that 18.5 million citizens, or 62 percent of voters who went to the polls is an unprecedented result after 1989, referring to June 4, 1989 elections, when the first partially free vote was held in Poland after years of communist rule.
"I'm convinced that on many issues it is possible to find agreement and a common stance, even if there are differences of opinion," he said.
The president also urged parliamentarians to use appropriate language in their debates, "a language that will not be offensive or hurtful."
"One should have their own views because if one does not have views they should not be sitting here," Andrzej Duda said, adding that although some opinions may be seen as radical, "the language of debate should not be radical, it should be the language of respect."
"All of you have acquaintances and often even family members whose views are different, you know that. We should do everything to ensure that there are as few quarrels as possible, especially in the family," Andrzej Duda said.
The president appealed to the newly-elected parliamentarians that they should seek consensus and asked them to shake each other's hands. He decided to lead by example and came to the first rows of deputy benches, stretching out his hand to the parliamentarians from various political camps.
Andrzej Duda also thanked Poland's former president, Aleksander Kwasniewski, for coming to the inaugural session.
President Andrzej Duda delivered also an inaugural speech in the Senate, expressing satisfaction with the political diversity in the upper house of Poland's parliament.
"I am pleased that such a wide political spectrum is represented in the Senate today, nearly as wide as in the Sejm (lower house - PAP)," Andrzej Duda said.
The president thanked Poles for the high turnout in the October 13 parliamentary elections, saying the percentage of voters had been the highest since 1989, when Poland overthrew communism in the first partially free vote after decades of communist rule. "This turnout offers a very serious mandate to hold a brave discussion on Polish matters," he said.
The president admitted Senate debates may prove difficult given the lack of a clear majority.
Andrzej Duda said he had taken into account the voice of senators, as well as the voice of the opposition, much more often than his predecessors.