A distinguishing feature of Central European polities is a strong policy-shaping role of parliaments. This article demonstrates how party political and procedural factors set the scene for the executive's loss of legislative control in Poland. Parties undermine the governmental grip because of their limited internal cohesion and competitive coalitional strategies. Parliamentary rules reinforce such party effects. The executive can shield its bills from amendments by relying mainly on partisan controls, not formal privileges. But, as an analysis of over 300 bills shows, when party discipline and coalition cooperation are in short supply, partisan controls are ineffective as instruments of legislative control.

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