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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » January 21, 2009
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National Security Office Reshuffle
January 21, 2009   
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Opposition Law and Justice (PiS) deputy Aleksander Szczygło replaced Władysław Stasiak as head of the National Security Office (BBN) Jan. 15. Stasiak has been appointed deputy to the head of the President's Office, Piotr Kownacki. The changes were ostensibly made to improve efficiency.

Both Szczygło and Stasiak have long been close aides to President Lech Kaczyński. Szczygło served as defense minister in the previous PiS government of Kaczyński's twin brother, Jarosław. He is now a PiS deputy and member of the defense committee in the lower house of parliament.

Some presidential aides, speaking off the record, say that Stasiak is under a cloud because his loyalty to the president is suspect, especially after he notified prosecutors about the details of confidential talks between President Kaczyński and foreign minister Radosław Sikorski having been leaked to the press without first clearing the matter with the head of state. Kaczyński is due to be questioned by a public prosecutor as a witness in an inquiry into the suspected "unauthorized disclosure of classified information."

The BBN is a body answerable to the president and charged with helping to shape Poland's security strategy and assisting the president in his capacity as head of the armed forces. The BBN is expected to focus more on the armed forces now that Szczygło is in the saddle and the word in the media is that he will waste no time belaboring Bogdan Klich, the Civic Platform (PO) deputy who succeeded him as defense minister.
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