The Polish president on Monday gave the green light to the creation of a commission of inquiry into "Russian influence in Poland", an entity described as "unconstitutional" and "Stalinist" by the opposition and by many lawyers, in the run-up to the general elections in the autumn.
Composed of nine members chosen by a lower house dominated by the populist nationalist camp, the commission will be able to decide whether or not the country's political leaders have succumbed to Russian influence in the years 2007-2022, and condemn them, without effective judicial control, observers warn.
The person found guilty may be banned from holding public positions related to access to public finances and classified information for 10 years in order to "prevent him from acting again under Russian influence to the detriment of the interests of the Republic of Poland", under this law.
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According to the government, such a Commission is essential to eliminate Russian influence in Poland, a loyal ally of Ukraine attacked by Moscow. "I hope that Parliament will choose the members of the committee responsibly," Andrzej Duda said in a televised statement on Monday, indicating that he had signed the law adopted three days earlier by the parliament controlled by the Law and Justice Party (PiS) and its allies.
The president, himself from this majority, also announced that he would post factum send the law to the Constitutional Tribunal, a procedure that does not prevent its entry into force. According to critics of the new text, the establishment of this commission violates the constitutional principles of separation of political and judicial powers, the body also adjudicating the powers of one prosecutor and one court at the same time.