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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Letters of the Civic Coalition to the European Parliament. Who will replace the head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration?

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A strong candidate for the position of Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration is Tomasz Siemoniak, the current coordinator of secret services – tvn24.pl found out. It is not yet certain that he will combine both functions: minister and coordinator.

Marcin Kierwiński leaves the post of Minister of Interior and Administration after just over four months to stay “number one” of the Warsaw KO list in the European Parliament elections.

His replacement has not been officially named yet. According to our sources in the government, he is the strongest candidate Tomasz Siemoniakwho has been coordinating the activities of five secret services for over one hundred and thirty days.

In the context of the same cabinet, the names of well-reviewed politicians of the younger generation also appear on the political exchange: Deputy Minister of Justice Arkadiusz Myrcha and Deputy Minister of National Defense Cezary Tomczyk.

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Tomasz SiemoniakPiotr Nowak/PAP

When we asked Siemoniak, he only replied that “these are the prime minister's decisions.”

We also asked the coordinator whether one person is able to physically co-ordinate five secret services and the extremely large area supervised by the Ministry of Interior and Administration. To illustrate: all special services have as many officers as one metropolitan police headquarters. Not to mention the Border Guard, the Fire Service, the State Protection Service and a huge part of the government administration.

It is also the prime minister's decision, but he alone is able to supervise the work of the entire government

However, according to our sources, today it is more likely that these functions will remain disconnected.

The experience of the tape scandal

The Civic Coalition camp remembers the failure of such a union from its previous governments. In February 2013, supervision over both the ministry and the services was combined with Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz. In June of the following year, a wiretapping scandal broke out: leading politicians and businessmen were wiretapped in three Warsaw restaurants, and the recordings were widely reported in the media. Sienkiewicz himself failed to explain the background of this matter, and the PO-PSL coalition lost the elections, handing power to the United Right for the next eight years..

– Coordination of services combined with supervision over the Ministry of Internal Affairs is difficult to achieve even in peaceful times, because there are only 24 hours in a day. Let alone talk about the situation when we are a country bordering on a life-and-death war, says one of the MPs, who asked not to be named.

When he leaves, Marcin Kierwiński leaves behind an almost completely rebuilt police force – all the commanders in charge of the provincial garrisons have already been replaced.

Only the deputy commander-in-chief, General Roman Kuster, has retained his position in the top management of the police, having held this position continuously since 2021. The second and last exception is also the deputy commander in chief, Rafał Kochańczyk, who was the head of the school in Katowice and the voivodeship commander in Opole during the rule of the United Right. But none of the serious problems plaguing this formation – such as the increasing number of vacancies – have been solved.

Kierwiński leaves unfinished work on several important acts in the ministry itself, including: on civil protection and the operational labor code.

PiS left behind the Homeland Defense Act. But who needs a homeland if they completely forget about protecting the population? This is the burning issue of shelters and the reconstruction of civil defense that has disappeared

Similarly important is a legal act that will regulate surveillance matters in a modern way in order to restore trust in the services, i.e. the operational labor code.

Changes in the secret services?

There are several names among the candidates to replace Siemoniak as coordinating minister: his current deputy, General Radosław Kujawa, a close associate of Prime Minister Paweł Graś, and General Krzysztof Bondaryk, who currently serves as director in the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

– If there is no simple continuation, or rather it will not be General Kujawa, we should expect personnel changes also in the services – says an MP who works in the parliamentary secret services committee.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk receives comments that in the key special service (and the largest one), which is the Internal Security Agency, changes – compared to the times of PiS rule – were only “cosmetic”. Colonel Rafał Syrysko, who has been in charge of its work since December last year, worked during the rule of the United Right. The audit he conducted – although the document itself is approximately 400 pages long – did not bring any significant discoveries.

– After all, no one from PiS is attacking him. Only the new heads of the military services are under fire from “Gazeta Polska”, Telewizja Republika and numerous parliamentary interpellations – one of the politicians of the ruling coalition tells tvn24.pl.

Author:Robert Zieliński

Main photo source: Piotr Nowak/PAP

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