Lower house in favour of new ombudsman

The Sejm, the lower house of the Polish parliament elected Piotr Wawrzyk, currently a deputy Foreign Minister, as the new ombudsman on Thursday.

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The election of Mr Wawrzyk must be approved by the Senate, the upper house, to be binding. The ruling United Right camp holds a majority in the 460-seat Sejm but the 100-seat Senate is controlled by opposition senators.

The majority of the opposition supported the candidacy of Zuzanna Rudzińska-Bluszcz, the third candidate was Robert Gwiazdowski. A total of 233 MPs voted for the candidacy of Mr Wawrzyk, 219 were against it and one MP abstained.

If the Senate is against the candidacy of Mr Wawrzyk, the Sejm will have to choose another candidate. The term of the incumbent ombudsman, Adam Bodnar, expired in September 2020, but since there was no consensus on his successor, he remained in the office.