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PiS only party to submit candidates to Russian influence panel

The ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party was the only political grouping to nominate candidates to the Russian influence commission, no candidates were submitted by any other party.

The deadline for parties to nominate their candidate to the Russian influence commission, as set by the speaker of the Sejm, the lower house of the Polish parliament, was 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 29.

The law establishing the commission, which will cover the years 2007 to 2022, came into force on May 31, but just after signing it into law, Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, tabled an amendment.

The commission, which under the original law would have had the power to bar politicians from public office if they had been found to have been operating under Russian influence, was subjected to severe criticism with even the US and the EU expressing disapproval.

Critics feared, in particular, the commission could be used as a political tool to prevent opposition leader Donald Tusk, who is also a former prime minister, from running in the parliamentary elections to be held on October 15.

Marek Ast, the head of the parliamentary justice and human rights committee told PAP, that the procedure for submitting candidates was launched after the amendment of the act and the adoption of President Andrzej Duda’s proposal.

PiS was the only party that nominated its nine candidates for the commission.

According to PAP sources, PiS candidates for the Russian influence committee are: Lukasz Ciegotura (a deputy director of the Military Historical Office), Slawomir Cenckiewicz (director of the Military Historical Bureau), Michal Wojnowski (historian dealing with Russian political thought and the theory of information warfare), Marek Czeszkiewicz (member of the State Tribunal), Przemyslaw Zurawski vel Grajewski (chairman of the Security and Defence Council operating within the framework of the National Development Council), Marek Szymaniak (deputy director of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdansk), Arkadiusz Pulawski (deputy director of the Department of National Security), Andrzej Kowalski (former head of military intelligence) and Andrzej Zybertowicz (president’s social adviser).

It is possible that during the session of the Sejm on August 30 – as announced by PiS deputy Marek Ast – the members of the panel will be selected.

No members to the commission were presented by Poland’s opposition parties.

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