Europe

Conflict erupts in top ranks of Poland's ruling party

The ruling party Law and Justice leader and twin brother of the former Polish President Lech Kaczynski, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, second left, lays a wreath, as Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz, left, holds a candle, during a ceremony at the Powazki cemetery to mark the seventh anniversary of the crash of the Polish government plane in Smolensk, Russia, that killed 96 people on board including Lech Kaczynski, in Warsaw, Poland, Monday, April 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

The ruling party Law and Justice leader and twin brother of the former Polish President Lech Kaczynski, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, second left, lays a wreath, as Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz, left, holds a candle, during a ceremony at the Powazki cemetery to mark the seventh anniversary of the crash of the Polish government plane in Smolensk, Russia, that killed 96 people on board including Lech Kaczynski, in Warsaw, Poland, Monday, April 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)  (The Associated Press)

A conflict has erupted in the top ranks of Poland's ruling party that pits party chairman Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who effectively runs the government, against the controversial defense minister.

At the center of the dispute is Bartlomiej Misiewicz, who has enjoyed unusual privileges and favors as a 27-year-old assistant to Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz, causing raised eyebrows in Warsaw.

Kaczynski has in past weeks shown impatience with the issue and on Wednesday ordered a commission to investigate the matter.

Misiewicz, in the role of ministry spokesman, has been saluted by soldiers, an honor not normally imparted to people of his stature. A former pharmacy assistant without a university degree, Misiewicz has also been given lucrative jobs in the defense industry under Macierewicz.