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English Section

Deadlock over? Polish deputies vote for new civic rights ombudsman

09.07.2021 07:40
Polish deputies have voted for a university professor specialising in human rights to be appointed as the country’s new civic rights ombudsman, a move expected to end a deadlock over who should take on the key role.
Marcin Wiącek
Marcin Wiącek Photo: PAP/Mateusz Marek

So far, five attempts to select a new ombudsman have failed after the opposition blocked nominees supported by the country’s ruling conservatives.

Opposition parliamentarians claimed that instead of being independent champions of citizens’ rights, previous conservative-backed candidates for the role would have been political lackeys appointed to enforce the government’s right-wing ideological agenda.

But Marcin Wiącek, a professor at the University of Warsaw and an expert in constitutional law, won cross-party support in the lower house on Thursday.

That means, unlike previous nominees, he is also likely to be backed for the post by the Senate, the upper house of parliament.

Poland’s governing conservatives do not have a majority in the upper chamber, which must approve a new candidate, and which has scuppered the appointment of previous nominees supported by the lower house.

Wiącek is set to succeed Adam Bodnar, whose term as civic rights ombudsman expired last September but who has stayed on amid disagreement over who should replace him.

(pk/gs)

Source: PAP