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Nine members of alleged Russian influence commission appointed

Poland’s Sejm, lower house of parliament, has appointed nine members to the commission designed to investigate alleged Russian influence on this country’s internal security in 2007-2022.

All the appointed commission members had been forwarded by the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party. The opposition did not nominate any candidates to the body. MPs from the Civic Coalition, The Left, the Polish Coalition – the Polish People’s Party, and other Sejm circles did not take part in the vote on Wednesday. The far-right Confederation party voted against.

Poland goes to the polls on October 15, and the opposition has claimed that the commission could be used as a political tool to exclude its political leaders from the election process.

Law and Justice (PiS), the governing party, was the only political grouping which had nominated their candidates for the commission, an idea which was originally initiated by PiS politicians, by the deadline.

Talking to a private broadcaster Polsat News on Wednesday morning, Piotr Mueller, the government spokesman, said it would take several weeks for the commission to be constituted and for the chairperson to be elected. 

Asked whether the commission would start work before October 15, Mueller replied: “I don’t know and there is no such priority, the commission itself will decide.”

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 causing a delay.

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

Critics feared, in particular, the com

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