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    Polish Commission to Probe Russian Influence Set to Convene Ahead of Elections

    The commission tasked with investigating past Russian influence in Polish affairs, already with its leadership in place, is set to convene before the upcoming general election on October 15, according to statements made by one of its members, Przemysław Żurawski vel Grajewski.

    Commission member Przemysław Żurawski vel Grajewski confirmed on Monday that Sławomir Cenckiewicz, the head of the Central Military Archives, would serve as the commission’s chair. Earlier in the day, the Senate Information Centre announced that Elżbieta Witek, the speaker of the lower house of parliament, the Sejm, had formally appointed members to the commission.

    The commission’s primary focus will be on investigating the nature and extent of alleged Russian influence in Polish affairs during the years 2007-2022. Żurawski vel Grajewski, who also heads the presidential Security and Defence Council, assured journalists that the commission would convene before the October election. However, he clarified that no one would be questioned at that time, but the commission would establish the topics, tasks, and matters to be investigated, as well as a list of individuals to be questioned.

    Addressing concerns about the commission’s constitutionality and its members’ powers, Żurawski vel Grajewski defended the Sejm’s appointment of nine commission members on August 30. All of these members were proposed by the ruling Law and Justice party, as the opposition chose not to put forward candidates or participate in the voting process.

    It is worth noting that the establishment of this commission has generated controversy both within Poland and internationally, with fears that it may be utilized as a political tool to target former opposition politicians, including Donald Tusk, the former prime minister and current leader of the main opposition party.

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