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Lex Tusk. Work on the presidential amendment in the Sejm. Second reading

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On Friday, the Seym, in its second reading, is to consider the report of the parliamentary commission on the presidential draft amendment to the act establishing the “lex Tusk” commission for examining Russian influence. Among other things, the committee adopted the PiS amendment removing the deadline for publication of the first report of the committee, set for September 17.

Andrzej Duda On May 29, on the initiative of Law and Justice, he signed the act on the establishment of a commission for examining Russian influence on the internal security of the Republic of Poland in the years 2007-2022, called “lex Tusk”. He announced that he would refer it to the Constitutional Tribunal as a follow-up review. On May 30, the act was published in the Journal of Laws and entered into force on May 31. On June 2, the president submitted a draft of its amendment to the Sejm.

READ MORE IN KONKRET24: Influence committee for everything

Sejm. Illustrative photoPAP/Albert Zawada

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The first reading of the bill took place on Tuesday and it was dealt with on Wednesday the Sejm’s administration and internal affairs committee, which supported the amendment proposed by the president.

On Friday, the Sejm will consider the commission’s report in the second reading. As TVN24 reporter Sebastian Napieraj reported, during this meeting PIS would like to pass this amendment.

PiS’s amendments to the presidential amendment to “lex Tusk”

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 regarding the administrative decision issued by the commission. The applicable statute sets out the remedies that the committee may order when making such a decision. The President’s draft amendment, in turn, abolishes these countermeasures and proposes that a person whose action has 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 mitigates the consequences of the commission’s decision in this matter. According to it, 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 committee can investigate cases of Russian influence without trying to question the basis of its functioning.

Wiesław Szczepański on the changes voted by the parliamentary commission on the amendment of “lex Tusk”TVN24

The Marshal of the Sejm is to set a new deadline for submitting candidates

This amendment introduces clarification changes, including those relating to the selection of committee members after the expiry of the 14-day deadline for submitting candidacies set out 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 deadline originally indicated, should be set by the Marshal of the Sejm” – indicated in this 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 opposition MPs pointed out on Wednesday, since the law entered into force on May 31, this deadline is about to expire.

The Sejm legislators also indicated on Wednesday that in order to select the composition of the committee selected from among persons who are not parliamentarians, changes in the regulations of the Sejm will still be necessary.

The President’s draft amendment to “lex Tusk”

Originally, 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 committee members. 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, according to its provisions, the election of the chairman of the commission, made before the date of entry into force of the amendment, would be considered ineffective.

READ ALSO: “Lex Tusk”. President’s draft amendment in the Sejm. What’s included >>>

Main photo source: PAP/Albert Zawada

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