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English Section

Deadlock over: Polish senators vote for new civic rights ombudsman

22.07.2021 06:45
Polish senators have voted for a university professor specialising in human rights to be appointed as the country’s new civic rights ombudsman, a move that ended a deadlock over who should take on the key role.
Marcin Wiącek.
Marcin Wiącek. Photo: PAP/Marcin Obara

Previously, five attempts to select a new ombudsman had 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, was backed for the post by the Senate, the upper house of parliament, on Wednesday.

He earlier won cross-party support in the lower house.

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

Wiącek replaces Adam Bodnar, whose term as civic rights ombudsman expired last September but who stayed on amid disagreement over who should step into his shoes.

Source: PAP, TVP Info