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Polish defense minister's aide resigns to help party image

Associated Press logo Associated Press 13/04/2017
Bartlomiej Misiewicz, assistant to Poland's Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz, speaks to the press prior to testifying before a party commission in Warsaw, Poland, Thursday, April 13, 2017. Misiewicz is at the center of a dispute between Jaroslaw Kaczynski, head of the ruling Law and Justice party, and Macierewicz, who has sparked the anger of the party chief by bestowing unusual privileges on his 27-year-old protege. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz) © The Associated Press Bartlomiej Misiewicz, assistant to Poland's Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz, speaks to the press prior to testifying before a party commission in Warsaw, Poland, Thursday, April 13, 2017. Misiewicz is at the center of a dispute between Jaroslaw Kaczynski, head of the ruling Law and Justice party, and Macierewicz, who has sparked the anger of the party chief by bestowing unusual privileges on his 27-year-old protege. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

WARSAW, Poland — An assistant to Poland's defense minister who has received allegedly preferential treatment resigned from the country's ruling party Thursday in the interest of its image.

The 27-year-old male aide, Bartlomiej Misiewicz, announced his resignation after appearing before a Law and Justice party commission that was formed to investigate his high position at the Defense Ministry and lucrative defense industry jobs.

The investigation was ordered by the party's powerful leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, and was seen as a sign of a serious rift between Kaczynski and Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz, who was promoting the aide.

Law and Justice won office promising to fight corruption and cronyism. The party commission apologized to the Polish people Thursday, but also used the opportunity to criticize the previous government.

The commission said Misiewicz did not have sufficient training or experience required for high state jobs and accepted his resignation from the party.

The commission did not say whether he is keeping his ministry position, but Prime Minister Beata Szydlo thinks he cannot remain in the job, Rafal Bochenek, Szydlo's spokesman, said.

Misiewicz, 27, a former pharmacy assistant without a university degree, was Defense Ministry spokesman and close aide to the minister.

He sometimes represented Macierewicz at military ceremonies, and was addressed "minister," which drew strong criticism. He has also been given jobs in the defense industry in recent months.

Misiewicz said his name was used in a "dirty campaign" against the party, which prompted him to offer his resignation so as "not to burden" the party and its policies.

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