The resignations of Chief of General Staff Rajmund Andrzejczak and the operational commander of the armed forces, Tomasz Piotrowski, on Oct. 10, just five days ahead of Poland’s parliamentary election, has shocked both government and opposition politicians
Both General Andrzejczak and General Piotrowski said that their resignations were voluntary and dictated by “private reasons.” However, opposition politicians and media pointed to their strained relations with Minister of Defense Mariusz Błaszczak, while the supporters of the government criticized the two generals for causing instability and effectively demonstrating their political opposition to the present government.
President Andrzej Duda accepted their resignations and appointed Genera Wiesław Kukuła as chief of staff and General Maciej Klisz as operational commander of the armed forces.
The resignations were criticized by Roman Polko, the former commanding officer of Poland’s special forces unit Grom. He told portal Niezależna.pl that the generals had allowed themselves to “get embroiled in the political process by resigning just three days before the election.”
He felt that if the two generals were so incensed by the missile incident in May of this year, then that was the time to depart. If it really was a personal rather than political resignation, they would have waited until next week so as to make sure that the army was not involved in politics, he argued.
Polko however dismissed talk of the army being in crisis. He said that there were no “irreplaceable people” and that the army had endured far greater personnel crises such as the Smolensk air disaster in which several generals perished.