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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » January 13, 2010
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Kempa, Wassermann Back on Commission
January 13, 2010   
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The ruling Civic Platform (PO) party Jan. 8 suffered its biggest defeat in parliament since it won the elections in 2007 and formed a government coalition with the Polish Peasants' Party (PSL). Despite PO's concentrated efforts to prevent Beata Kempa and Zbigniew Wassermann, two deputies from the opposition Law and Justice (PiS) party, from rejoining the special parliamentary commission investigating the so-called gambling scandal, the lower house of parliament decided both deputies should sit on the committee.

Kempa and Wassermann were voted off the commission Dec. 4 by three PO commission members, who said that several years ago Kempa and Wassermann had proposed changes to a bill on gambling regulations. The PSL member of the commission was absent during the vote. The left-wing member of the commission voted against excluding the pair.

According to PiS and many deputies from PSL and the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD), removing Kempa and Wassermann from the commission was unlawful and unjustified. The two deputies were subsequently questioned by the commission and despite efforts by PO members, the commission failed to prove that either Kempa or Wassermann's earlier work on a bill on gambling regulations meant that they could not be seen as impartial members of the commission.

PO called on PiS to appoint other deputies to sit on the commission, but PiS again put forward Kempa and Wassermann. PO protested, but senior deputies found PO's objections to be unfounded. PO then lost two votes in the lower house when first Kempa and then Wassermann got support from 235 and 230 deputies, respectively.
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