Poland’s New Law on Commission of Inquiry Could Interfere with Free Elections, Says European Commissioner for Justice

The European Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, denounced on Tuesday May 30 the adoption by Poland of a law on the creation of a commission of inquiry into Russian influence, competent to condemn political leaders without the control of a judge. At the same time, the United States said to itself “concerned” by this law which could “interfering with free elections” of autumn.

“We are particularly concerned about the adoption of a new law in Poland on a special committee which would make it possible (…) to deprive citizens of their right to hold elective office without any recourse in court. possible justice”said the Belgian commissioner on arriving at a meeting of European affairs ministers in Brussels. “We can ask ourselves whether we still respect the rules of access to justice, the rules of access to an independent judge when we are the subject of an administrative decision”continued the manager.

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Warsaw condemned several times by European justice

The European Commission “will not hesitate to take initiatives if the law is effectively in force and poses this type of problem”he warned, thus raising the threat of a new infringement procedure against Poland.

In Washington, the State Department said to itself “preoccupied” by the adoption of this new legislation “which could be misused to interfere with free and fair elections in Poland”.

The Polish President, Andrzej Duda, gave his agreement on Monday to the creation of this body qualified as« anticonstitutionnel » et “Stalinist” by the opposition and a number of jurists, in the run-up to the legislative elections in the fall.

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Composed of nine members chosen by a lower house dominated by the populist nationalist camp, this body will be able to decide whether or not the country’s political leaders have succumbed to Russian influence in the years 2007-2022, and condemn them, without effective control of justice, warn observers. The person found guilty may be banned from holding public positions related to access to public finances and classified information for ten years.

Poland has already been the subject of several condemnations by European justice for its reforms accused of undermining judicial independence, which notably earned it a daily fine of 500,000 euros.

The meeting of the General Affairs Council on Tuesday in Brussels is partly devoted to a hearing of the Hungarian and Polish ministers by their peers about the breaches of the rule of law in these two countries.

The World with AFP

2023-05-30 10:24:50

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