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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » March 12, 2008
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New Head for Intelligence Agency
March 12, 2008   
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Prime Minister Donald Tusk March 5 appointed Andrzej Ananicz acting head of the Intelligence Agency. Earlier, despite protests from President Lech Kaczyński, Tusk dismissed Gen. Zbigniew Nowek from this post.

Under Polish law, civilian secret service heads are appointed and dismissed by the prime minister after consulting the president, a government council for secret services, and the committee for secret services in the lower house of parliament, the Sejm. However, the opinions of these bodies are not binding for the prime minister. Parliament's secret services committee has approved Nowek's dismissal, said the committee's head, Janusz Zemke of the Left and Democrats (LiD) party.

When Tusk disclosed Jan. 22 that Nowek would be dismissed and replaced by Ananicz, the President's Office criticized the decision and declared that the president had reservations about Ananicz, who previously held this post in the leftist government of Marek Belka.

By dismissing Nowek, the coalition government of the Civic Platform (PO) and the Polish People's Party (PSL) completed the process of replacing secret service heads appointed by the previous government led by the Law and Justice (PiS) party. The only exception is Central Anti-Corruption Office (CBA) head Mariusz Kamiński, who kept his post until the end of his term.

Ananicz, aged 56, first became head of the Intelligence Agency in August 2004. He was dismissed in November 2005 and replaced by Nowek soon after the PiS government of Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz had been formed. Ananicz graduated from the Turkish studies department at the University of Warsaw and earned a Ph.D. degree in Iranian studies. He started working at the foreign ministry under Krzysztof Skubiszewski in the early 1990s. As vice-director and then director of the ministry's department for Europe, he dealt with Eastern European countries and was one of those who negotiated a Polish-Russian treaty. In 1992 he was appointed deputy foreign minister and held that post until 1994 when he became President Lech Wałęsa's foreign affairs adviser. He then worked as undersecretary and secretary of state at the President's Office. In November 1997 he was appointed deputy foreign minister in Jerzy Buzek's government. He worked as a member of a team that negotiated the terms of Poland's European Union membership.
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