Polish opposition fail to oust defence minister ahead of NATO summit

Members of Poland's liberal-conservative opposition have lost a parliamentary bid to oust the country's defence minister days before the start of a NATO summit in Warsaw.

The proposal against Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz was rejected in a 267-169 vote on Tuesday by members of the minister's ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) and the right-wing political party Kukiz'15.

Civic Platform (PO) lawmaker Stefan Niesiolowski had called Macierewicz is a "political hooligan" at the start of parliamentary debates, accusing him of exploiting his position to retaliate against political opponents.

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

Prime Minister Beata Szydlo stood behind Macierewicz, calling him a "man of honor."

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 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 - 19:19

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