Poland’s ruling party suspends defence ministry assistant

EPA/GRZEGORZ MICHALOWSKI

Polish Minister of Defence Antoni Macierewicz (C) delivers a speech during a funeral service for victims from a March 20, 1942 massacre of 100 Polish people by German Nazi troops, in Zgierz, central Poland, 20 March 2017.

Poland’s ruling party suspends defence ministry assistant


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A conflict has erupted in the top ranks of Poland’s ruling party that pits the party’s powerful chairman against the country’s defence minister.

At the centre of the dispute is a 27-year-old assistant to Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz who has enjoyed unusual privileges, raising eyebrows in Warsaw.

Law and Justice leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski on April 12 suspended the assistant, Bartlomiej Misiewicz, from the party and ordered a commission to investigate the lucrative defence industry jobs and other preferential treatment he has received.

The moves are meant to “protect the good image of the Law and Justice party,” party spokeswoman Beata Mazurek said.

As reported by The Associate Press (AP), Misiewicz has been saluted by soldiers and called “minister”, honours not normally imparted to civilians.

Misiewicz, a former pharmacy assistant without a university degree, also has been given lucrative jobs in the defence industry under Macierewicz. His treatment has raised ethics concerns in a party that won office promising to fight corruption.

He was appointed last year to the supervisory board of Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (PGZ), one of the largest defence consortiums in Central Europe. The company’s bylaws state its board members must have college degrees, but the rules were changed to let Misiewicz join, reported AP.

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