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    Polish Parliament Passes Amended Law Establishing Commission to Investigate Russian Influence

    In a significant development, the lower house of the Polish parliament, known as the Sejm, has recently approved an amendment to the existing law that establishes a commission responsible for investigating allegations of Russian influence on Poland’s security. President Andrzej Duda had proposed the amendment on June 2, signaling a proactive step by the government to address concerns surrounding the commission’s powers and its potential impact on public officeholders and opposition politicians.

    The original commission law, which came into effect in late May, generated a wave of criticism from both the European Union and the United States due to apprehensions that the commission might exploit its authority to exclude individuals from public office and impede opposition candidates from participating in the upcoming general election this autumn.

    In an effort to alleviate the concerns raised by critics of the law, President Duda’s amendment has introduced certain modifications, either eliminating or diluting some of the more contentious provisions. Notably, the amendment explicitly bars Members of Parliament (MPs) and senators from serving on the commission, ensuring their exclusion from the investigative body. Additionally, the amendment clarifies that the commission will not possess the power to prohibit anyone from holding public office.

    During the parliamentary session on Friday, the amendment received significant support, with 235 MPs voting in favor, while only five opposed it. Nine MPs chose to abstain from voting, while 211 did not cast their vote.

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