Poland’s Top Military Commanders Resign Ahead of Elections

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Two senior Polish military officers resigned days before a key legislative election that would shape the country’s political destiny.

The army announced that Gen Rajmund Andrzejczak, head of the general staff, and Lt Gen Tomasz Piotrowski, operational commander, had resigned on October 10, 2023.

The two resignations hurt the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, which campaigned on the idea that it is a patriotic force safeguarding Poland from external adversaries and the only party that can ensure its security.

PiS which is seeking a third consecutive term in office is facing a challenge from opposition groupings led by the former prime minister and European Council president Donald Tusk.

Former foreign minister Jacek Czaputowicz told reporters that the two generals resigned right before the elections to signal they don’t trust the present political elite.

Reports indicate that there has been tension between the army bigwigs and the defence ministry which has apparently been growing for months with bit decisions made in eluding of the army leadership.

In recent days, interior minister Mariusz Błaszczak appointed Gen. Wiesław Kukuła to lead a military operation to remove Polish people from Israel.

Błaszczak openly chastised Piotrowski in May 2023 for the army’s response to a Russian missile recovered by a civilian in a deep woodland in Poland in April.

The two generals also objected to the army’s involvement in the government’s re-election efforts in surveys that predicted a close contest.

President Andrzej Duda accepted the resignations after convening a meeting of the National Security Bureau and later appointed Kukuła as chief of staff and Maj Gen Maciej Klisz as armed forces operational commander.

The army command also confirmed that 10 other officers quit though they were not high ranking and their departures were routine.

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