Polish opposition demands defence minister resign before NATO summit

Poland's liberal-conservative opposition has called for the resignation of the country's defence minister days before the NATO summit in Warsaw, accusing him of exploiting his position to retaliate against political opponents.

Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz is a "political hooligan," Civic Platform (PO) lawmaker Stefan Niesiolowski said Tuesday at the start of parliametary debates.

"For the good of Poland, NATO and democracy in Europe, Minister Macierewicz should not represent Poland at the NATO summit," Niesiolowski added.

Macierewicz and other members of the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) left the chamber as Niesiolowski spoke.

The liberal-conservative PO, comprised of the Nowoczesna party and the Polish People's Party, have criticized the defence minister's comments on the EU - "The EU is like a cage - you come in but never again out" - and his insinuations that most previous foreign ministers were Soviet security service agents.

The new conservative government that took power in November and the PiS has absolute majority, meaning there is little chance that Macierewicz will be forced to resign.

The NATO summit is scheduled for July 8-9 and will bring leaders together to discuss relations with Moscow and the alliance's approach to Islamic State.

Last update: Tue, 05/07/2016 - 13:18

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