Poland on course to establish Russian influences commission

Photo by Frédéric Soltan/Corbis via Getty Images

The Sejm, the lower house of the Polish parliament, has voted down a resolution by the Senate, the upper house, scrapping a government bill on the formation of a special commission to investigate Russian influences in Poland's previous governments.

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On Friday the Sejm overturned the Senate’s rejection of the commission bill in a 234 to 219 vote with one abstention.

The law was drafted by Law and Justice (PiS - senior party in Poland’s ruling coalition) deputies. The commission is to consist of 9 members appointed and dismissed by the Sejm, and is to be headed by a chairman chosen from among the commission members by the prime minister.

The commission would set out to investigate the period 2007-2022 and have power to ban people found to have acted under Russian influence from holding security clearance or working in roles where they are responsible for public funds for ten years, effectively disqualifying them from public office.

The bill, passed by the Sejm on April 4, will now be submitted to President Andrzej Duda.