A new member of Poland's right-wing government has appealed on Facebook for public support amid a political storm over his previous far-right and anti-West statements.

The controversial appointment of Adam Andruszkiewicz as deputy minister for digital affairs comes at the start of a year of elections that will be crucial for the future of Poland's ruling conservative party.

Observers say that by appointing lawmaker Andruszkiewicz, a former leader of the extreme-right All-Poland Youth organization, the ruling party wants to widen its voter base and neutralize right-wing competition.

Critics say his past statements against the U.S. troops' presence in Poland, and against migrants and gays, should bar him from government posts.

State officials argue his views have evolved, while his social media activity qualifies him for the job.