Russian influence bill sign of 'coup d'etat' says Senate speaker
The speaker of the Senate, the upper house of the Polish parliament, has slammed the president's decision to sign into law a bill on creating a commission to investigate alleged Russian influence on Poland, calling it the start of a “creeping coup d’etat."
Under the law President Andrzej Duda signed on Monday, the commission will investigate Russian influence on Poland's internal security from 2007-2022. Duda also decided to ask the Constitutional Tribunal to check whether the law complied with the constitution.
The commission will have the power to ban people from certain types of public office for up to 10 years, prompting fears it could be used to target opposition politicians while at the same time eroding the constitutional order.
"This is the beginning of a creeping coup d'etat and a move which undermines the foundations of a democratic Poland," Tomasz Grodzki wrote on social media after the president had announced his decision.
"The Senate rejected the bill on a commission that will investigate alleged Russian influence on Poland's internal security in 2007-2022 because it was unconstitutional," Grodzki said, adding that the president, who should guard the Constitution, had signed it into law.
The Senate adopted a resolution to reject the bill on May 11, but the Sejm, the lower house of parliament, voted down the Senate’s resolution on Friday.