On Monday, The leader of Poland’s right-wing Law and Justice party Jaroslav Kaczynski and Prime Minister Beata Szyldo announced the members of the new Polish cabinet.
The new cabinet includes some pretty untraditional characters, detailed in a great profile by Quartz. Among the politicians now in charge of running Poland are an alleged homophobe, a conspiracy theorist, and a convict. Many also have chequered pasts within Polish politics and the Law and Justice party.
Here are some of the strangest characters:
Antoni Macierewicz — Defence Minister
Macierewicz, who will take up the position of minister of defence, believes that a former Polish president was assassinated, according to Quartz.
In 2010, Poland’s president Lech Kaczynski, along with 96 other Poles, was killed in a plane crash in Russia. The crash was officially deemed to be an accident, but Macierewicz champions the belief that it was actually a Russian-led assassination mission.
As well as his belief in conspiracy theories, Macierewicz is a staunch anti-Communist, and while he was deputy defence minister in a previous Law and Justice government, he led a purge of Poland’s military intelligence service, removing and publicly outing agents with ties to Moscow.
Jaroslaw Gowin — Science and Higher Education Minister
The man in charge of ensuring that Poland’s young adults get a good education once told a group of students in Warsaw that that he was an opponent of “homosexual ideology.”
Gowin also opposes the use of in-vitro fertilisation by women. According to Quartz, Gowin once told a Polish newspaper: “A politician must find in himself a love for the people whom he serves. In my case, since I’ve taken up in vitro, it’s love for embryos frozen in nitrogen. I know you think I’m exaggerating, but sometimes I really feel like their foster father.”
Mariusz Kaminski — Special Service Coordinator
Kaminski will take charge of the police and intelligence agencies, having previously spent time as the head of Poland’s Central Anti-Corruption Bureau.
In 2007, while holding that post, Kaminski was convicted of abusing his power, according to AP. He was given a three-year suspended prison sentence. He maintains that he is totally innocent and has appealed the decision.
Beata Szyldo, the new prime minister, doesn’t think his conviction is an issue, however. “This does not pose a problem for us; he always fought against corruption,” he was quoted by the AP as saying.
Zbigniew Ziobro — Justice Minister
In the previous Law and Justice government between 2005 and 2007, Ziobro also served as justice minister.
Quartz says that on Monday, one Polish investigative journalist called Ziobro a “symbol of the abuse of power in the 2005-07 government.”
Other politicians in Law and Justice’s cabinet include: Witold Waszczykowski, a pro-American foreign minister; Development Minister Jerzy Kwieciński; and Culture and National Heritage Minister Piotr Glinski.
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