A Short History of the ‘Komisja Śledcza’ (Part 2)

continued from part 1

Looking For The Guilty
Looking For The Guilty

The 2005 komisja śledcza hit the headlines first of all not with its remit but rather with who did not become its chairperson. The Commission on the Privatisation of PZU decided against electing Andrzej Lepper to be its chairperson much to the annoyance of the head of Samoobrona (Self-Defence). Instead, Janusz Dobrosz (of LPR, another extremist PiS coalition partner) took the helm of this commission whose brief it was to discover whether or not the privatisation of PZU (a state-owned insurance giant) was legal. The commission sought to discover how millions of tax payer złoty had evaporated. Przemysław Gosiewski of PiS and Cezary Grabarczyk of PO strengthened their political standing thanks to the commission.

The Puppet Show
The Puppet Show

By the time of the next komisja, the Polish public had become anaesthetised to the bickering and politicking of the members of investigative commissions. Each time a new commission was created, politicians were fighting at the chance to get on board in the hope of repeating the political success of Jan Rokita and Zbigniew Ziobro during Rywingate. The komisja śledcza had become synonymous with political show business and the commission members eager puppets in the pay of their party leaders. The 2006 Commission on the Banking Supervisory Commission (KNB) set out to discover the influence that the National Bank of Poland (NBP) and the Banking Supervisory Commission (KNB) (now the KNF) had had on privatisation in the years 1989-2006. Again, the komisja served more as a chance for politicians to shine rather than reach any conclusions. Adam Hofman, the young PiS politician was its chairperson thanks to which his political career took off.

The PO-PiS Aftermath
The PO-PiS Aftermath

The next komisja which was called into being in 2008 was particularly memorable for its bickering. It was perceived to be an act of revenge by PO on PiS after PO had won the parliamentary elections. The members of Kaczyński’s PiS government were seen to have used their political weight to exert pressure on the police, special services, the Central Anti-corruption Bureau (CBA), public prosecutors, Internal Security Agency (ABW) and judicial authorities for political gain, in particular against PO. The commission’s brief was to investigate these claims. The ‘Commission on Pressure’, as it became known, despite admirable intentions to defend democracy and fight any moves to destabilise it, descended into chaotic pettifoggery and was unanimously declared a farce.

to be continued in (final) part 3


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