Opposition's Tomasz Grodzki becomes Marshal of the Senate
Tomasz Grodzki (Civic Coalition) was chosen on Tuesday to be the Marshal of the Senate of the 10th term. 51 senators voted in favour of candidacy. His rival from PiS, Stanisław Karczewski, received 48 votes. One senator abstained.
According to the regulations, the Senate Marshal is chosen from among candidates put forward by at least 10 senators, in a vote by the an absolute majority.
After being elected, the Marshal of the Senate takes over the presiding role.
After the vote, the outgoing Marshal, Stanisław Karczewski from PiS, approached Grodzki and congratulated him on his appointment.
Grodzki said in his first speech as Marshal that his election was "a triumph of democracy".
"If anyone thinks that we will limit our role to hindering the Sejm, they are wrong. The only thing the Senate must do is to return to its primary role, namely passing good laws, instead of quick laws," Grodzki stressed.
The loss of the Senate was a blow to the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party because that could delay some of its legislative ambitions. These include further changes to the justice system, which have concerned the European Union.
Since the election, Polish media have reported that PiS had made overtures to opposition senators in an attempt to establish a working majority.
During its first term in power PiS, accused by the EU of subverting the rule of law, gained a reputation for pushing through bills at breakneck speed, with hastily called late-night lower house sittings followed by quick approval from the Senate.
A few hours later, in another vote, Bogdan Borusewicz was confirmed as Deputy Marshal of the Senate.
Borusewicz received 90 votes in his favour, 4 against and 5 senators refrained from voting.
Former member of both PiS and Civic Platform, Michał Kamiński, was also chosen to serve as Deputy Marshal. He won the senatorial ticket running on Polish People's Party (PSL) list.
Fifty three (53) senators voted in favour of Kamiński's candidacy, 37 were against and 10 abstained.
PiS' Stanisław Karczewski, who had been the Senate Marshal in the last term, was also approved as Deputy Marshal of the upper house.
His candidacy was supported by 82 senators, 3 were against and 15 abstained.
The last one to be approved as Deputy Marshal of the Senate was Gabriela Morawska-Stanecka (the Left).
Her candidacy received 56 votes in favour, 28 against, with 15 senators refraining from voting.