Poland set to elect first transsexual MP
PR dla Zagranicy
Anna Grodzka, once Ryszard Grodzki, looks set to go down in history as Europe's first transsexual MP after being elected in the Krakow constituency in Poland's parliamentary elections on Sunday.
Anna Grodzka; photo - PAP/Radek Pietruszka
Grodzka was the top candidate for liberal, anti-clerical party the Palikot Movement in the normally conservative city.
The new party, which just a month ago was dismissed as unlikely to make the 5 percent of votes necessary to enter parliament, streaked into third place across the country, claiming 9.94 percent of votes thus far (by mid-morning on Monday 93.05 percent of the votes had been counted).
In Krakow, preliminary statistics show that Grodzka won 18,000 votes, a higher level than that of Law and Justice candidate Ryszard Terlecki (14,000) and Tomasz Kalita from the Democratic Left Alliance (7870).
Although Grodzka's did not win the highest tally of votes in Krakow, her place as top candidate for her party should see her into parliament under Poland's system of proportional representation.
The 57-year-old, who was born Ryszard Grodzki in the town of Otwock, central Poland, told Polish Radio that she believes that the success of the Palikot Movement – which promotes liberal abortion laws and civil partnerships - is due to the established mainstream parties not representing all types of people in Poland.
This is why Poland's turnout is traditionally so low, she says. Yesterday, only 47 percent went to the polls to cast their vote.
“The fact that [over 50 percent] did not vote is not because they were lazy, but because they didn't have their own political representation. The Palikot Movement is an attempt to create that representation,” she says.
Leader of Grodzka's party, Janusz Palikot, broke away from Prime Minister Tusk's Civic Platform party last autumn. However, Tusk, now freshly re-elected, has stated that he has ruled out a potential coalition with a party that supports the legalisation of soft drugs. (nh/pg)