Poland's President Andrzej Duda said on Monday he would propose amendments to Russia's law on illegal and excessive influence, which he signed this week, in response to criticism that it could lead to a ban on opposition politicians from holding public office.

On Monday, Duda signed into law proposed by the ruling party allowing a commission to investigate whether opposition parties allowed Poland to be unduly influenced by Russia. He said he would only send it to the Constitutional Court for review once it enters into force.

The law has drawn criticism from lawyers and opposition politicians, as well as the U.S. State Department and the European Commission, who have expressed concerns that it could effectively prohibit individuals from holding public office without proper judicial review.

"Worried about these claims... I drafted an amendment to the law, a series of provisions that regulate or change the issues in this law that caused the greatest controversy," Duda said in a televised statement.

He said the proposed changes would include provisions prohibiting members of parliament from becoming members of the committee, allowing appeals to a general court rather than an administrative court, and removing provisions that would allow people to be deprived of the right to hold office.

Poland's president signs controversial law to set up anti-Russian influence commission

"I propose to remove these measures, leaving only a statement by the commission that a person who is found to be acting under Russian influence does not guarantee the proper performance of public duties," he said.

Duda said his proposal would be submitted to parliament today. A spokesman for the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) nationalists suggested the amendments could be acceptable to the party.

Opposition politicians criticized the president for changing his mind on the law, which he signed just days earlier, and said the proposed amendments did not address the issue of setting up such a commission.


Andrzej Duda


Russian Influence