Poland: The Cabinet Reloaded

by Marek Jan Chodakiewicz  |  February 15, 2018  |  ARTICLES

Since its victory in 2015, the domestic and foreign policy of the government have generated a great deal of grass roots support. If Law and Justice stays the course, and the economy continues to perform as well as it has, it will, once again, carry the parliament, whether in snap or regular elections.

Poland's ruling populist Law and Justice Party (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość - PiS) has reshuffled the national government. Image, competence, efficiency, and future parliamentary elections are behind the move as well as political personalities which drive them.

To improve the image of the government, both domestically and internationally, several ministers were dismissed. Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz is the most controversial. A veteran anti-Communist dissident and prisoner of conscience, he was an intrepid de-Communizer, who successfully vetted and purged a small army of Communist-era holdovers trained by the Soviet and post-Soviet military intelligence (GRU) and other services.

A human demolition machine, Macierewicz fell afoul of Poland's President Andrzej Duda. Although they both stem from the PiS, Duda took a merciful approach to the post-Communist military personnel in his employ which Macierewicz judged to be a national security threat. Duda is the Commander-in-Chief. Macierewicz defied him openly by stripping security clearances from his close military collaborators. Duda retaliated by refusing to confirm the promotions of officers selected by Macierewicz.

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