In an interview with Bloomberg, President Andrzej Duda said that he did not understand the critical reaction of the allies to the adoption of the law on the commission for Russian influence. He stated that this may be the result of an incorrect translation of the act or the effect of the actions of opposition politicians. The appointment of the commission met with numerous voices of criticism both in Poland and abroad.
– I do not fully understand the reaction of our allies. I don’t know if they were deceived by opposition politicians, or because of mistakes in translating the law, or if someone just didn’t explain it, said Duda in an interview given on Tuesday and published on Wednesday.
In this way, he referred to critical reactions from the US and the EU, which expressed fears that the commission would be used to fight opposition politicians before the elections. According to Bloomberg, the case “casts a shadow over Poland’s efforts to forge closer transatlantic ties.”
Duda: I can explain the bill to the US president
As the agency writes, Duda offered to explain the law in a direct conversation with the US president Joe Biden.
– In the USA, various decisions are made, judgments are issued, various commissions are appointed. It should be the same with us. So I don’t see a problem here unless someone is spreading misinformation.
He also said that, contrary to the concerns expressed by the American government, the commission “absolutely” would not prevent opposition politicians from running in the election, noting that the regulations provide for the right to appeal the commission’s decision.
– Polish society deserves to know whether anyone, while performing a specific public function, was under any influence Russia Duda said.
On the night of Monday to Tuesday The U.S. State Department issued a statement on the commission. “The U.S. government is concerned about the adoption by the Polish government of new legislation that could be used to interfere with free and fair elections in Poland,” U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement.
“Lex Tusk” in the shadow of criticism
President Andrzej Duda signed an act on the establishment of a commission for examining Russian influence, i.e. the so-called lex Tusk. He also announced that it would be referred to the Constitutional Tribunal. Law experts, journalists, business representatives, foreign politicians and foreign media express their criticism, reservations and concerns.
The commission established on the basis of “lex Tusk” will be able to reach almost any document and summon anyone: politicians who once or currently hold the highest positions in the state, local government officials, officials, people from state-owned companies, journalists or ordinary citizens.
READ MORE IN KONKRET24: Influence committee for everything
The decisions that the committee could take include, among others, a ban on performing functions related to the disposal of public funds for up to 10 years, and the withdrawal and banning of security clearance for 10 years.
READ MORE in KONKRET24: Commission from “lex Tusk” and the parliamentary investigative commission – main differences
The opposition claims that this is an unconstitutional regulation aimed at them. Among others, Janusz Kowalski from Sovereign Poland admitted that he hoped that “the effect of the commission’s work will be to put Donald Tusk before the State Tribunal.
The Ombudsman also has objections to the Act prof. Marcin Wiącek. In his opinion, it is contrary to at least several provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland.
Commission for the Study of Russian Influence
The State Commission for the Study of Russian Influence will be public administration body, which may decide on the application of countermeasures against persons to whom it proves that “under Russian influence they acted to the detriment of the interests of the Republic of Poland”, e.g. a ban on performing functions related to the disposal of public funds or withdrawal of security clearance. Remedial measures are to be imposed by way of an administrative decision. According to the law, “administrative decisions, decisions and resolutions of the commission are final”. The decision on remedial measures cannot be appealed to a higher instance, as the law does not provide for such.
The decision of the commission can be appealed to the voivodeship administrative court. However, the latter can only assess whether the committee’s decision was taken in accordance with the procedures. The administrative court will not assess the merits, i.e. whether a given person actually made decisions under Russian influence, thereby acting to the detriment of Poland’s interests. In addition, lodging a complaint does not suspend the enforceability of the issued decision. Only the court or the commission itself can stop it. That is why the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights draws attention to the illusory nature of the control of administrative courts.
Main photo source: PAP