Szymon Holownia, the head of Poland 2050 opposition party has been elected speaker of the new Sejm, lower house of Polish parliament.
During the session of the new Sejm, which convened for the first time on Monday following October’s general elections, he was supported by 265 MPs with 459 MPs taking the vote.
“After this vote no one can have any doubts that there is a majority in this Sejm ready to take responsibility for the country,” Holownia said in his speech after being elected.
He pledged that the Sejm will never again be “an asylum for criminals… a field for corruption… a tribune for contempt.”
Holownia was a candidate for Sejm speaker put forward by three main opposition groupings, the centrist Civic Coalition, the Third Way alliance and the New Left, which together won 248 seats in a 460-seat Sejm in the October 15 elections and have signed a coalition deal to form Poland’s next government.
Holownia is to hold the position until November 13, 2025. In the second half of the Sejm’s term, Wlodzimierz Czarzasty, co-chair of the New Left, will take over as a Sejm speaker, in accordance with the coalition agreement.
The Law and Justice (PiS) party, which won the elections but got only 194 parliamentary seats, submitted the candidacy of Elzbieta Witek, who was a Sejm speaker in the PiS government until it officially stood down earlier on Monday.
She was supported by 193 MPs in the Monday vote.
The election of the speaker is the first decision of the 10th-term Sejm. It is made by an absolute majority of votes in the presence of at least half of the statutory number of MPs.