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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » December 16, 2009
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PiS Deputies Removed From Commission
December 16, 2009   
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Zbigniew Wassermann and Beata Kempa, deputies from the opposition Law and Justice (PiS) party, were controversially excluded Dec. 4 from a parliamentary commission investigating the alleged involvement of Civic Platform (PO) politicians in lobbying for business people in the casino and slot machine industries.

The motion to remove Wassermann and Kempa from the commission was supported by three PO deputies who were in the majority in the commission, while Franciszek Stefaniuk, a deputy from the Polish Peasants' Party (PSL), the junior coalition partner, was absent that day. Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) deputy Bartosz Arłukowicz opposed the motion.

According to the motion, the reason to exclude Kempa and Wassermann was that they need to testify before the commission as witnesses because in 2007 they submitted comments on the draft gambling amendment on behalf of the government.

The removal of the PiS deputies caused a tide of criticism against the commission and its chairman Mirosław Sekuła, a member of PO. Opposition politicians decried the move as an attempt to prevent the truth about the gambling scandal from coming out. Even some prominent PO politicians, including the party's deputy chairman Janusz Palikot, criticized the commission's decision and said that both Wassermann and Kempa should be reinstated.

Meanwhile, the commission's work has ground to a halt because PiS leaders said they would not delegate any new deputies to replace Wassermann and Kempa on the commission until it is clear if the two can return. This means that the commission is unlikely to complete its work by February 2010, the original deadline for its final report, observers say.
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