The candidate for the Ombudsman, Piotr Wawrzyk, received a positive opinion on Tuesday by the parliamentary committee on justice and human rights dominated by politicians of the United Right. After a six-hour session, the candidacies of Zuzanna Rudzińska-Bluszcz and Robert Gwiazdowski did not receive support.
Following the recommendation of Piotr Wawrzyk for the position of the Commissioner for Human Rights, there were 14 members of the commission, 10 voted against, and no one abstained. In turn, 10 deputies from the committee voted in favor of Zuzanna Rudzińska-Bluszcz, 14 were against, and one person abstained. Robert Gwiazdowski’s candidacy was supported by only one MP – 22 were against.
Earlier, the deputies asked the candidates numerous questions about the current situation in the country, detailed issues of human and civil rights protection, and asked about the professional experience of the candidates so far. The committee meeting, which lasted from 4 p.m. ended in the late evening after 10 p.m.
Piotr Wawrzyk, former secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the government of Mateusz Morawiecki, assured that he would be loyal only to citizens. – Because the citizens will be the ones I represent, whose interests I will protect, also in appearing before public authorities and courts – he emphasized.
Zuzanna Rudzińska-Bluszcz assessed that the election of the successor of the current Ombudsman, Adam Bodnar, expected in recent months, is “already an epic” and “a time of extraordinary challenges for citizens and constitutional guarantees broken month after month”. – First of all, the conditions for pre-trial detention must be changed. It cannot be that the prosecutor basically decides whether they lock a person – said Robert Gwiazdowski to the deputies.
In the previous weeks, the deputies tried twice to choose Adam Bodnar’s successor as the Ombudsman – each time the only candidate was Mr. Zuzanna Rudzińska-Bluszcz. However, PiS did not support her candidacy in the vote twice.
Three candidates for the Ombudsman
Currently, the candidates for the new Ombudsman are: Robert Gwiazdowski proposed by the PSL and the Confederation, once again Zuzanna Rudzińska-Bluszcz and the deputy foreign minister Piotr Wawrzyk nominated by PiS. The Sejm will vote on these candidates this week.
The Ombudsman is appointed by the Sejm with the consent of the Senate at the request of the Marshal of the Sejm or a group of 35 deputies. If the Senate refuses to consent to the appointment of the Ombudsman (it takes one month to adopt a resolution expressing consent or objection), the Sejm will appoint another person to this position. The 5-year term of office of the Ombudsman, Adam Bodnar, expired at the beginning of September, but – in accordance with the Act on the Ombudsman – he continues to perform this function until the appointment of his successor.
Main photo source: Rafał Guz / PAP