For many years he was one of the most influential opponents of the conservative government: Polish Ombudsman Adam Bodnar. Lawsuit against LGBTI measures, curtailment of abortion law and punitive measures for critical judges. But the human rights lawyer’s critical work is nearing completion: this morning the Supreme Court ordered his removal from office.
This issue raises a lot in Poland. Former Prime Minister and President of the European Council Donald Tusk said that with Bodnar’s resignation, the country will be more in the hands of the ruling conservative right-wing Law and Justice party. “This is not an attack on the Ombudsman. This is an attack on all citizens.” chirp Tusk this week. The European Commissioner for Values and Transparency is also monitoring this issue.
The thing is, Bodnar’s term expired last fall, but his proposed successor was rejected several times by Parliament. The House of Representatives, the lower house of the House of Representatives owned by the Law and Justice Party, refused to approve his proposed successor. So Bodnar was able to survive.
A group of politicians in the Law and Justice Party objected and tried to remove the “outgoing” Ombudsman from his position through the Constitutional Court. The judges agreed that Bodnar’s “illegal” stay was unconstitutional. He must have left his office within three months.
“The outcome was to be expected, as the court’s judges were repeatedly criticized for their lack of independence,” Bodnar said in a depressed conversation with NOS before the ruling. “In addition, the Law and Justice Party politicians have made no secret of the fact that thanks to this measure, I can finally be replaced.”