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President Duda Signs Controversial Russian Influence Bill into Law, Sparking Calls for Trial and Boycott

President Duda Signs Controversial Russian Influence Bill into Law, Sparking Calls for Trial and Boycott

The President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, has announced that he will sign into law a controversial bill creating a commission to investigate Russian influence on Polish politics that could ban people from public office for a decade.
The opposition party Civic Platform warns that the commission is aimed at harassing political rivals, especially former Prime Minister and European Council President Donald Tusk, ahead of the parliamentary election this fall.

The decision to sign the law has angered the opposition and prompted calls for Duda to be put on trial.

The Polish parliament narrowly approved the bill after a heated debate, and Duda's decision to rapidly sign it into law has been criticized by some for undermining democratic principles.

The commission has also been criticized by the US for appearing to allow for the preempting of voters' ability to choose their candidates.

The commission will be chosen by parliament where PiS has a slim majority, and several opposition parties have said they will boycott the procedure.

The commission can decide to ban people for 10 years from jobs involving the spending of public funds, which would block them from running for office.

The Polish Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, questioned the opposition's fear of a commission to verify Russian influence and accused them of being communist sympathizers.

PiS has tried to portray its rivals as sell-outs and downplayed the number of senior PiS members who also served in the Communist Party.

The article mentions that PiS denounced a long-term gas deal with Russia and that Poland continued to buy Russian pipeline crude until Moscow turned off the taps in February.

The opposition is calling for a mass protest in Warsaw on June 4 to address national security concerns.

The U.S. ambassador has also expressed support for the protest.
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