Poland sets up controversial investigative commission

Poland’s President Andrzej Duda has given his approval for the establishment of a commission to investigate Russian political influence in the country. Critics suspect the ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party of wanting to use the corresponding law to target opposition leader Donald Tusk. Commentators examine potential motives and consequences.

Onet.pl (PL) /

This is how you destroy the rule of law

For Onet there can be no talk of elections in Poland being democratic anymore:

“From now on, the election campaign in Poland is no longer equal. It is no longer democratic. It is no longer fair. And therefore it is not free. The responsibility for this gigantic step towards authoritarianism in Poland lies with all the MPs who voted for the establishment of this commission, and with President Andrzej Duda. The destruction of democracy in Poland, the destruction of free elections, only serves Russia’s interests. The further we move away from European standards, the closer we come to the Kremlin’s standards. Russian influence in Poland therefore grows precisely because of the creation of this sham court during the election campaign.”

Bartosz Węglarczyk
Rzeczpospolita (PL) /

No one is helping Putin as much as the PiS

For Rzeczpospolita, it is the government and not the opposition that is pro-Russian regarding the implications of its policies:

“The first to testify before the commission to investigate Russian influence in Poland should be Jaroslaw Kaczyński, Mateusz Morawiecki and Andrzej Duda. Nothing in recent years has served Vladimir Putin’s interests as much as their undermining of Western unity by undermining the rule of law and democracy. As a result, the EU has not only lost the ability to make effective, efficient decisions, but more importantly, the distinction between the authoritarian power systems in the East and the liberal-minded West has been blurred.”

Jędrzej Bielecki
Wprost (PL) /

A little martyrdom can go a long way

Wprost says that Tusk could even win votes by being seen as a victim of a campaign by the government:

“The president has resolutely supported the government camp on this issue. It is unclear whether he is doing the PiS a favour or the opposite with this move. Jarosław Kaczyński’s party tends to ‘overdo’ things on certain issues. If it brutally attacks Donald Tusk, it could end up making a martyr of the PO leader. And nothing helps a politician like a little martyrdom.”

Eliza Olczyk