The Sejm adopted the amendment to the act proposed by the president – called “lex Tusk” – establishing a commission to investigate Russian influence. 235 MPs voted for the regulation, five were against and nine abstained from voting. It will now go to the Senate.
The draft amendment was submitted to the Sejm on June 2, just a few days after the president signed the original law – created on the initiative of Law and Justice and called “lex Tusk” – on the establishment of a commission for examining Russian influence on the internal security of the Republic of Poland in 2007-2022 .
READ MORE IN KONKRET24: Influence committee for everything
The deputies voted on the final version of the amendment, with amendments, on Friday evening.
earlier that day debate took placewhile PIS submitted an additional amendment, which was then voted on by the Sejm’s administration and internal affairs committee. The point is to clarify who will be the parties to the proceedings before the court in the event of an appeal against the commission’s decision. “The parties to the appeal proceedings are the person lodging the appeal and the Commission” – assumes the amendment introduced by the PiS club.
PiS’s amendments to the presidential amendment to “lex Tusk”
Earlier, on Wednesday, the Sejm’s administration and internal affairs committee adopted an extensive amendment by Law and Justice submitted by MP Piotr Kaleta. According to this amendment, the provision setting the deadline for the publication of the committee’s first report to 17 September this year will be deleted.
The PiS amendment also changes the provisions on the administrative decision issued by the committee. The applicable statute sets out the remedies that the committee may order when making such a decision. The President’s draft amendment abolishes these remedies and proposes that a person whose actions have been recognized by the commission as acting under Russian influence to the detriment of Poland’s interests should be considered a person who does not guarantee proper performance of activities in the public interest. The PiS amendment stipulates that in the administrative decision the commission will state whether a given person acted under Russian influence or not. However, this decision will not indicate “lack of warranty”.
“The amendment concerns the provision relating to the guarantee of proper performance of activities in the public interest, which raises interpretation doubts, hence it is proposed to remove it so that the commission can investigate cases of Russian influence without trying to question the basis of its functioning” – the justification for the amendment stated.
The Marshal of the Sejm is to set a new deadline for submitting candidates
The same amendment introduced clarification changes, inter alia, referring to the selection of committee members after the expiry of the 14-day deadline for submitting candidacies set in the original Committee Act. The justification for the amendment indicates that the need to modify the provisions relating to the deadlines for submitting candidates to the committee results from the change in the concept of its functioning. “Therefore, it is proposed that the deadline for submitting candidates, after the expiry of the originally indicated deadline, should be set by the Marshal of the Sejm” – indicated in the justification. Pursuant to the current wording of the Act, deputies’ or parliamentary clubs submit candidates for committee members to the Marshal of the Sejm within 14 days from the date of entry into force of this Act. As the opposition MPs emphasized on Wednesday, since the law entered into force on May 31, this deadline was just passing.
The Sejm legislators also indicated on Wednesday that in order to select the composition of the committee selected from among people who are not parliamentarians, changes in the rules of the Chamber will still be necessary.
The President’s draft amendment to “lex Tusk”
The President’s draft amendment to the act assumed that “membership in the commission cannot be combined with the mandate of a deputy or senator”, the members of the commission are to elect a chairman from among themselves, and the resolution on this matter is to be adopted by the majority of votes, in an open ballot, in the presence of at least five members committee. The current law provides that the prime minister chooses the chairman of the commission from among its members.
Moreover, the President’s draft assumed that – in the event that a person holding the mandate of a Member of Parliament or Senator was proposed as a candidate for a member of the committee before the date of entry into force of the amendment – no voting would be held on that candidate. On the date of entry into force of the amendment, the membership in the commission of persons previously appointed to it who held the mandate of a deputy or senator on the date of its entry into force would also expire. Also, the election of the chairman of the committee, made before the date of entry into force of the amendment, would be considered – in accordance with its provisions – as ineffective.
Main photo source: TVN24