Left to right: SLD leader Leszek Miller, Wanda Nowicka and Janusz Palikot in parliament, Friday; below, MP Anna Grodzka: photos - Radek Pietruszka/Jakub Kaminski/PAP
“The decision of the House not to dismiss me from the function of deputy-speaker confirms my deep conviction that there is no substantive reason for me to submit my resignation,” Nowicka said.
Her party chief, Janusz Palikot, of the liberal Palikot Movement – the third largest party in the lower house (Sejm) – called for her to stand down after taking a 40,000 zloty (10,000 euro) bonus as a deputy speaker in direct contravention to the party’s policy on bonuses.
But MPs voted to keep Wanda Nowicka in her role after Janusz Palikot nominated the 58 year-old Anna Grodzka – the world’s only transsexual MP – to take her place.
Nowicka was supported by most of MPs from the largest party in parliament, the ruling centre-right Civic Platform, plus junior coalition partner Polish Peasant’s Party (PSL) and the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD).
Ewa Kopacz.voted by mistake to dismiss Nowicka.
“I apologize for my mistake, but mistakes are human. Wanda knows that from the beginning to the end I have been keeping my fingers crossed for her,” Kopacz said
Janusz Palikot was angry after MPs retained Wanda Nowicka, saying the vote would not help the already tarnished reputation of politicians in Poland.
“Is someone afraid of Anna Grodzka,” he asked after the vote. “Why you do not want to respect the tradition that every [political party] has the right to self-determination?”
There are five deputy speakers in the lower house and each of the main parties has one member performing the role.
As Poland’s economy finally succumbs to the European-wide slowdown, there was an outcry when it was divulged that deputy speakers had been given large financial bonuses.
Each of the deputy speakers said that they would give the money to charity as a result of the furor.
Palikot says he plans to dismiss Nowicka from his party. (pg)